Lecture Archive

Come to Cranbrook Institute of Science for informative and interesting classes, workshops and activities for adults.


The Freshwater Forum at Cranbrook Institute of Science and The Nature Conservancy partnered to host the “What’s So Great about the Great Lakes” lecture series at Cranbrook Institute of Science. This series featured Nature Conservancy scientists who cast new light on topics that affect everyone who lives in the Great Lakes’ unique ecosystem.

Get With The Program - How Technology is Advancing Conservation - February 20, 2014 Director of Science Dr. Scott Sowa will share the latest, state-of-the-art innovations in technology and computer modeling that are bringing efficiency and precision to conservation planning and outcomes.


Wet & Wild - Aquatic Ecologist Matt Herbert - January 23, 2014 Aquatic Ecologist Matt Herbert will talk about techniques and strategies used to reduce the impacts from aquatic invasive species and improve habitat for native fish to bolster their populations.

Can You Take the Heat? - Dr. Patrick Doran - Oct. 25 Director of Conservation Dr. Patrick Doran discusses how scientists are thinking about and planning for a changing climate and how it affects organizational choices.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees - Jon Fosgitt - Nov. 15 Forest Management Specialist Jon Fosgitt of Compass Land Consultants will share his views on how restoring forest diversity can improve forests, forestry practices, and local economies.

Centers of Commerce, Culture and Conservation - Dr. Scott Sowa - Jan. 24 Director of Science Dr. Scott Sowa discusses how the bays of the Great Lakes region have influenced our past and hold keys to our future.

Thanks for Stopping By - Dr. Dave Ewert - Feb. 21 - Senior Scientist Dr. Dave Ewert will talk about the importance of stopover sites in the globally significant migratory bird flyway here in the Great Lakes basin.

Yanking Our Chain - Lindsay Chadderton - Mar. 21 Great Lakes Director of Aquatic Invasive Species Lindsay Chadderton will talk about the changes in the Great Lakes food chain and native fisheries.

The Changing Scale of Conservation - Helen Taylor - Apr. 18 State Director Helen Taylor talks about how land protection has become a conservation strategy at the landscape scale of the Great Lakes.

Bobby Harrison, Associate Professor, Oakwood College

Since February 2004 Mr. Harrison has been engaged in the on going Ivory-billed Woodpecker research project in eastern Arkansas. The purpose of the project is to study, document and conserve habitat and needs of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which Harrison and Tim Gallagher, Editor of Living Bird magazine, rediscovered on Feb. 27, 2004. Long thought to be extinct, Harrison will share with us the excitement of discovering that this magnificent creature may still be alive.

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Mike Kimball, Assistant Professor of Anthropology University of Maine-Machias, discusses 3,000-year-old rock art of coastal Maine.

“Skwaasutek,” a Native American word for “the place of watching and waiting” is home to coastal Maine’s 3,000-year-old rock art. These mysterious designs, or petroglyphs, are endangered by global warming. Kimball will discuss the unique collaboration among archeologists, artists and Waponaki tribal members to preserve these unique treasures.

Download the complete lecture.

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This is an archive of a lecture by Dr. Dan Fisher that took place on Oct. 25, 2007 at Cranbrook Institute of Science. Dr. Fisher is a University of Michigan paleontologist and leading expert on the mastodon and woolly mammoth. This lecture is part of Cranbrook Schools’ Annual Sirchio Lecture Series.

Download video of the lecture.

Oct. 11, 7pm

Since the mid-19th century, our planet has experienced an overall warming trend, with a particularly sharp rise over the last three decades.

There is strong consensus in the scientific community that the accumulation of greenhouse trace gases in the atmosphere, from the burning of fossil fuels, is the primary cause of the warming; yet polls show that only one in three Americans think the recent warming is “mainly caused by what people do.” Explore this issue at the Institute of Science in a conversation with two noted atmospheric scientists.

Dr. Natalia Andronova, details the evidence for humanity’s role in global warming and the best estimates of future warming. Dr. Andronova is a Research Scientist in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Modeling Group of the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan.

Dr Roy Spencer will discuss satellite data and focus on a possible natural thermostat controlling the climate system, involving precipitation systems and how they may affect future warming projections. Dr. Spencer is U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite and a principle Research Scientist at the University of Alabama (Huntsville).

As always, the third participant in the conversation is the audience through questions and comments following the speakers.

Download video of the conversation.

The Institute of Science presented the first of a series of discussions involving issues at the intersection of Science and Society today. The first topic was organic evolution and intelligent design.

Which provides a scientific approach to understanding human origins?

Dr. C. Loring Brace, professor and curator of biological anthropology at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, will present a synopsis of the evidence for organic evolution.

Dr. Michael Behe, a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University and senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, will summarize the evidence for intelligent design.

The third participant in the conversation is the audience through questions and comments following the speakers.

Download audio of the conversation.

This is an archive of the Bad Astronomy lecture that took place May 9, 2008.

Writer, astronomer and founder of badastronomy.com, Phil Plait can tell you how to recognize bad astronomy when you see it, especially in movies and on TV. During this stellar lecture Plait will debunk some common astronomical myths, answer your questions, and talk about his latest book Death from the Skies! which details the different ways astronomical events can wipe out life on Earth -- which isn't as grim as it sounds! In fact, the book will be a fun look at the awesome power of many cosmic forces.