Riveting topics in store for conservation lecture series

out conservationThe summer Zahner Conservation Lecture Series will kick off in Highlands next week with a talk on biodiversity in the Southern Appalachians.

 A lecture titled “Highlands, the Southern End of the Southern Appalachians: Maintaining its Hundred Million Year-Old Biodiversity Legacy” will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Highlands Nature Center. The speaker, Alan Weakley, is the director of the UNC Herbarium at the North Carolina Botanical Garden and an assistant professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has collected over 250 species and annotated more than 3,500 specimens in his career and is the author of plant-related books with a focus on the Southeast. 

The free Thursday evening lecture series began as a Highlands tradition in the 1930s and is named for Robert Zahner and his wife Glenda, known for their land conservation efforts on the Highlands Plateau. The series serves to educate and inspire the public through a series of talks from well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers.

The topics of this year’s series are diverse, including environmental health, climate change, the Galapagos Islands, the endangered red wolf, medicinal plants, and biodiversity of the Southern Appalachians. The series runs until Aug. 29.

www.highlandsbiological.org or 828.526.2221.

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