SoGES and BWG sponsored lecture with Dr. Richard Primack titled, "Walden Warming: Climate change comes to Thoreau's woods"

March 10, 2014 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Henry D. Thoreau was a climate change scientist and author of “Walden: or, Life in the Woods” (1854) who spent two years, two months, and two days in a cabin at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts observing nature! For the past 12 years, Professor Richard Primack (Boston University) and his team have been using Thoreau’s records and other data sources to document the dramatically earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier ice out at Walden Pond, and the more variable response of migratory birds. And most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate.  While primarily a scientific study, Primack’s talk will be supported by beautiful photos and numerous quotes from Thoreau.

This work has received exceptional wide attention in the popular media (, most recently in the New York Times, and demonstrates the relevance of Thoreau’s legacy to contemporary issues. Professor Primack has just written a popular book about his work: Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods, due out in April from University of Chicago Press.

Speaker: Dr. Richard Primack is Professor of Biology at Boston University and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Conservation. Trained as a botanist and tropical ecologist, he is the author of the most popular conservation biology textbook in the world: Essentials of Conservation Biology. His most recent book, due out in April, is Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods.


Lory Student Center room 228