Celebrating Biodiversity in Newton
Renowned naturalist, author, and lecturer
Peter Alden, well known naturalist and author, will be the inaugural speaker in a new series of lectures sponsored by the Newton Conservators, the local open space advocacy organization. Alden, a renowned birder and entertaining and informative speaker, has led over 250 ecotours to over a hundred countries on all seven continents and lectured all over the world for travel and museum organizations. His talk entitled, “The Birds and the Bees, the Flowers and the Trees – Biodiversity in Newton”, will take place on Wednesday evening, March 21, 2001 (coincidentally the vernal equinox).
About the Speaker
Mr. Alden is the author of over a dozen nature field guides including the groundbreaking “National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England” (Knopf, 1998). This book is an easy to use field guide for identifying 1,000 of our region’s wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals and much more. Other regional field guides in the series cover California, Florida, the Mid-Atlantic States, the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain States, and the Southwestern States. For younger naturalists, along with Roger Tory Peterson, he produced the Peterson First Guide to Mammals of North America and coloring books for both birds and mammals. Other of his books include “The National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife” (1995) and “Finding Birds Around the World” (1982).
The Boston Globe review (5/24/98) of his regional field guides says, “The guide series will appeal to all ages. Concise writing, liberal use of sharp, colorful photographs, drawings, and maps, and logical inclusions of representative species, weather, and habitats found in the region make the guides real horizon expanders … For some this might be the patch of woods behind their house. For others it might be their first visit to the Everglades. These guides could very well expand the base of people who are interested in and knowledgeable about the natural world.” Signed copies of his field guide will be available before and after the lecture.
Peter Alden was also the organizer of the world’s first Biodiversity Day in Concord / Lincoln on July 4, 1998 with a team of experts identifying over 1900 species in one day. Biodiversity is a term used by scientists to measure the variety of different kinds of organisms found in a certain place. Last June, in his work for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs under Secretary Bob Durand, he spearheaded the first ever statewide Biodiversity Days, in which citizen naturalists in over 80 Massachusetts towns went out into the field to do a species census. This provided a valuable and interesting snapshot of common and unusual species present both here in Newton and across the state of Massachusetts.