Lectures

Peter Alden is an exceptionally knowledgeable, sought-after and entertaining speaker. He is available for large and small, public and private events. In New England and New York, Peter regularly gives talks to dozens of non-profit organizations at their monthly and annual meetings. His clients include land trusts, watershed organizations, state and regional conservation groups, public and private schools, garden and bird clubs and retirement homes. Some of his most popular presentations include:

The Invasive Alien Plant Crisis (in your town, watershed, region)

What are invasive alien plants? Where did they come from, how are they spread and why are they such a great threat to our ecology? Now that dozens of species are illegal to import or sell in some states, should we make it illegal to have them growing on private, corporate and government property? In this important lecture, Peter will discuss how this silent ecoterrorist plague occurred and what the consequences of our action or inaction is likely to be. You will learn about the offending trees, shrubs, vines and herbs as well as potential control options.

Changes in Flora and Fauna from Thoreau’s Time to Today

In Thoreau’s time, over 90% of New England, south of the White Mountains was a sea of grazing fields and farms, sprinkled with tiny patches of woodland. The landscape, it’s use (and misuse), as well as the number and variety of plants and animals have changed drastically over the last 150 years. Today the land is mostly wooded, flanked by jungles of invasive alien plants and an ever-expanding sprawl of roads, “chemlawned” McMansions and soccer fields. Thoreau didn’t know the moose, deer, beaver and turkey that have stormed back in recent years. Other species that used to live here have been lost. In this talk you will learn how and why the landscape changed and what effect it has had upon the birds, mammals, and plants over the years.

The High Arctic Today

Man-induced global climate chaos has focused much attention on the Polar Regions. These regions may incur swift changes that could alter atmospheric and ocean currents in warmer climes. Peter has spent years traveling penguin routes of Antarctica. He worked as a field lecturer and naturalist on a huge icebreaker that sailed the Northwest Passage from Russia, over Alaska to Baffin Island, and then to Ellesmere Island and northwest Greenland. While scanning for charismatic megafauna and birds, studying wildflowers and interviewing Inuits ashore, Peter got a feel for how the lands, waters, wildlife and people are faring. In this important lecture, you will find out how the Arctic and Antarctic differ, how the polar bears are doing, what the local peoples’ lives are like and how the changes in climate patterns have already affected them.

Our Songbirds Today

What is a “neotropical songbird migrant?” Why don’t we see as many colorful native summertime songbirds as we used to and which songbirds are getting more common? What is the effect of having too many bird feeders? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered in this insightful talk about how breeding, wintering and resident songbirds are coping with a changing world.

Peter also gives illustrated lectures on other topics including:

  • Celebrating Biodiversity
  • National Parks of the Western US
  • The Sex Life of the Adelie Penguin
  • Antarctic Cruising Ecotourism
  • Highlights of Central America, the Andes and the Amazon
  • National Parks of the Western US by Private Jet
  • The Andes and the Amazon
  • Pilgrimage to Darwin’s Galapagos
  • Highs and Lows of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego
  • Ice is Nice: Cruising the Drake and Antarctica
  • Safari Life in East Africa
  • Wonders of South Africa, the Okavango and Etosha Islands of the Indian Ocean
  • A Summer in the Siberian Taiga
  • Spice Islands of Indonesia
  • Lands Down Under, Mate

Contact Peter to find out more about upcoming lectures or to book him as a speaker for your organization.