Conservation Conversations

Our new virtual lecture series features local experts and authors who inspire us to get involved in conservation.

These online Zoom events are free for Sycamore members and a suggested $5 donation for non-members. Not yet a member? You can join today with a donation of just $40 or more, and help us protect land and restore habitat, for Forever.

Russell Boulding: “Geology of Sycamore Nature Preserves” – February 9, 2023


Geologist Russell Boulding will share a general overview of the physiography, bedrock geology, and, where present, the glacial geology of twelve of Sycamore’s public preserves in south central Indiana. This virtual Zoom lecture will be followed by a Q&A.

Russell Boulding got his BA in Geology from Antioch College in 1970 and spent several years of footloose wandering in the U.S., Europe and Africa, ending in Boulder, CO where he helped the Environmental Defense Fund set up their Denver office. In Boulder he met a pretty young geologist named Bonnie Gray from Bloomington IN, they married in 1973, and he gained as a father-in-law the eminent Indiana geologist, Henry Gray. In 1975, after receiving an MS in Water Resources Management at the University of Wisconsin/Madison, Russell became a Hoosier, working on the State’s accelerated survey program mapping soils in Dubois and Orange Counties. In 1977 he moved with Bonnie and their first of four children to Bloomington where he worked out of a home office as a free-lance environmental consultant for the next 40 years until retiring in 2017 at age 70. From 2013 to 2015 he performed Conservation Easement inspections for Sycamore Land Trust as a volunteer. Since retiring Russell enjoys studying the glacial history of south central Indiana, spending time with his three grandchildren, and gardening, woodcutting and invasives clearing on a three-generation, three-household homestead near New Unionville.

Allisyn-Marie Gillet: “It Takes a Village to Raise a Chick” – September 1, 2022


A recording of “It Takes a Village to Raise a Chick,” a virtual lecture and Q&A with Allisyn-Marie Gillet, Ornithologist at Indiana Department of Natural Resources, is now available on YouTube. Indiana DNR monitors and manages more than 50 at-risk bird species, each facing their own unique suite of threats. Alli talks about the state’s nongame bird program, taking a deep dive into two conservation projects – Shrubs for Shrikes and Motus. Learn how you can get involved and contribute to the conservation of our state’s beautiful avifauna!

More Conservation Conversation Lecture Recordings

Doug Tallamy: “Nature’s Best Hope” – January 27, 2022


Ben Goldfarb: “Dam It! How Beavers Can Save the Planet” – March 10, 2022


Nate Engbrecht: “Amphibians and Reptiles of the Beanblossom Creek Valley” – May 12, 2022


Carroll D. Ritter: “How Magnificent Trees of Indiana can be an inspiration to appreciate our grant forest heritage” – June 23, 2022


John C. Robinson: “Discover the Awe of Birdwatching” – July 7, 2022


Sycamore Land Trust’s Conservation Conversation virtual lecture series welcomes John C. Robinson, ornithologist, keynote speaker, and best-selling author of Birding for Everyone: Encouraging People of Color to Become Birdwatchers, to discuss how youth and adults of all ages can become motivated to discover and appreciate nature through bird-watching. This inspirational presentation will highlight how anyone can get started on their journey to becoming a better birder; and it will also include advanced tips for seasoned birders that show how to identify birds by sight and by sound.


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