Cold is Cool Speaker Series Continues

No matter the temperature, we'll keep you connected with the natural world.

Anna Berry | January 20, 2021
Dan Szczesny in red parka poses at rime ice crusted summit sign on Mt Washington in winter

Dan Szczesny, one the speakers for the series, poses on Mt. Washington summit. (Courtesy)

Our "Cold is Cool" outreach program will keep you connected with the outdoors safely, whether you are isolating at home or trying out winter hiking for the first time. Plug in to watch and learn from expert speakers and then unplug outside! We'll also explore why it's important that our winters stay cold and snowy, as so many local animals, plants and other wildlife have specifically adapted to thrive under these conditions. 

The speaker series kicked off on January 6. You can register for the free Zoom presentations on our events page and if you miss a speaker, we'll be posting the recording of each program here.



March 18: Wild Apple Tree Pruning with Nigel Manley

In this pre-recorded presentation, Nigel Manley provides a basic introduction to releasing and pruning wild apple trees. Manley is the director of the Forest Society's North Country Property, including The Rocks. Releasing and pruning wild apple trees can keep them healthy and result in greater fruit production for a wide variety of wildlife.
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February 24: Sugar Maple Regeneration with Dr. Natalie Cleavitt


Cornell University Research Associate Natalie Cleavitt shares her research about New Hampshire’s sugar maples and their ability to regenerate successfully in our changing forests.
Sugar maples are one of New Hampshire’s most important tree species, whether you look at this from an economic, environmental, or cultural perspective. Long term research on sugar maples at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Woodstock, NH has uncovered a significant decline in sugar maple regeneration success over the past 30 years. Seedling sugar maples are having difficulty surviving, which is likely due to a combination of factors including soil acidification, winter weather pattern changes due to climate warming, and increased competition with other tree species. A new community science project began in 2018 to help determine whether the sugar maple regeneration failure seen at Hubbard Brook is happening throughout New Hampshire. Four Forest Society forest reservations are study sites for this project.
Join Natalie Cleavitt, lead scientist on the Sugar Maple Regeneration Community Science Project (SMRCSP) as she explains why sugar maple regeneration may be threatened in our state, what she has learned at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, and what the early data from the community science project looks like. We welcome your questions about sugar maples and forest dynamics, and hope you’ll come away with a greater understanding of the challenges facing one of our most iconic New Hampshire trees. 

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February 17: Climate, Carbon & Forests with Ecologist John Campbell

In this pre-recorded Zoom presentation, the Forest Society's Cold is Cool speaker series features ecologist John Campbell sharing long-term climate, carbon and winter forest ecology research and monitoring from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
Climate change is altering forests in complex ways, with outcomes that are difficult to predict. Adding to this complexity are simultaneous changes in multiple interacting factors such as air pollution, invasive species, and land use. Our knowledge of the effects of climate change during winter is especially poor, and recent investigations have begun to focus on this topic. An integrative winter monitoring and research program at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest near Woodstock, New Hampshire is shedding light on the importance of ecological processes during winter. This information is contributing to a more complete understanding of climate change impacts on forests and effects on carbon storage. Long-term data from Hubbard Brook and the broader Northeast region document changes in winter climate, such as the loss of extreme cold air temperatures, a decline in the depth of the snowpack, and reduction in the duration of ice cover on lakes. Shorter-term winter manipulation experiments are providing insight about the impacts of extreme events like ice storms and soil freeze-thaw events. Winter not only affects forests, but also shapes the character of New England and helps drive the economy, especially in rural northern communities. This presentation will explore and facilitate discussion about observed changes in winter climate, the impacts of those changes, how we are adapting, and what the future holds.
John Campbell is a Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service in Durham, NH. His work unit manages the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest where he is involved in maintaining the long-term records of climate and hydrology. His research focuses on ecological processes in forest watersheds that affect water quality and quantity, with an emphasis on impacts of changing winter conditions. His work includes analyses of long-term data, shorter-term field experiments, laboratory studies and computer modeling, and has been performed at multiple scales ranging from small plots to global syntheses. The goal of his research is to understand ecosystem responses to natural and human-caused disturbances to help inform land management decisions and policies.
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January 27: Rediscovering Mount Washington's Hidden Culture with Dan Szczesny


Over the course of a calendar year, Journalist Dan Szczesny explored the history and mystique of New England's tallest mountain for his book, "The White Mountain: Rediscovering Mount Washington's Hidden Culture." Mount Washington is more than just a 6,288-foot rock pile; the mountain is the cultural soul of climbers, hikers, and tourists from around the world looking to test their mettle against some of the most extreme conditions in return for a chance to be inspired by its intense natural beauty. Szczesny is a long-time author and journalist living in New Hampshire. Learn more about Dan.
This event is part of the Forest Society's Cold is Cool speaker series, keeping you connected with the natural world from home. Plug in to watch and learn... then, unplug outside! 
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January 13: Restoring New Hampshire's Bald Eagle Population with Chris Martin

*This recording was only available for a limited time, as requested by the speaker, and is no longer available.*

How many Bald Eagles winter in NH? What is the state’s Eagle population? Find out as NH Audubon Senior Biologist Chris Martin presents a special Zoom program documenting more than three decades of bald eagle population recovery in New Hampshire. Chris describes the management efforts and partnerships that helped restore these amazing birds.
Chris Martin is a conservation biologist who has worked for NH Audubon for nearly 31 years. He is focused on the recovery of the state's endangered and threatened birds of prey, including peregrine falcons, northern harriers, ospreys and eagles, working in close collaboration with NH Fish & Game. Chris recruits, trains, and supervises an enthusiastic corps of volunteer raptor watchers who monitor these species all across the state. Chris is co-host of NHPR’s “Something Wild,” a partnership of the NH Audubon Society, the Forest Society and NHPR.

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January 6: Got Milkweed? Milkweed Community Connections with Katie Galletta

In this pre-recorded, Zoom presentation, join Bowdoin College student Katie Galletta to learn about Monarchs, milkweed and more from her summer-long research project studying interactions between Monarch butterflies and the larger milkweed community. Learn about the perils and protections for insects eating milkweed.
There are 11 specially adapted insect species of that feed on milkweed leaves. “Herbivorous insects on milkweed are from many different orders - there’s the monarch butterfly, but also beetles, flies, aphids, and even a moth.” When a milkweed plants become stressed as insects feed, it can release chemical signals including toxins that Monarchs butterflies sense. When you see a monarch flitting from plant to plant, the butterflies are using their feet and their long tongues to sense chemical markers in the plants.
Galletta visited 28 different study sites across southern New Hampshire, from Portsmouth to Peterborough, including the Forest Society’s High Five Reservation and the Tom Rush Forest in Deering. Many study sites located on lands conserved by municipalities or land trusts including the Forest Society, New Hampshire Audubon and Harris Center for Conservation Education

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