Zahner Conservation Lectures

Every summer the Highlands Nature Center hosts free evening lectures on Thursdays focused on the theme of natural history and conservation, a tradition that began in the 1930s.  Today, these lectures are known as the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, which serves to educate and inspire the public through a series of talks from well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers.  The public is invited to participate in these free lectures, which will be held at the Highlands Nature Center, 930 Horse Cove Road in Highlands.

All lectures are held at 6:30pm at the Highlands Nature Center.   These lectures are free and open to the public.

Photo (c) Clay Bolt.


June 19  Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose: Natural History in Early America

Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin, Professor, University of Louisville


June 26  Nest Association in North American Minnows: A Colorful Conundrum

Dr. Mollie Cashner, Research Scientist, Austin Peay State University


July 3  Temperate Mountain Grasslands: A Climate-Herbivore Hypothesis for Origins and Persistence

Dr. Travis Knowles, Associate Professor, Francis Marion University


July 10  Stand Up That Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail

Mr. Jay Erskine Leutze, Author (Sponsored by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust)


July 17  The Art and Science of the Atlanta Botanical Garden: Connecting People to Plants and Science

Ms. Mary Pat Matheson, President & Chief Executive Officer, Atlanta Botanical Garden


July 24  Native Plants of the Southeast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 460 Species for the Garden

Dr. Larry Mellichamp, Professor; Executive Director, UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens; Author


July 31  Soul Mates for Life: Native Plants and their Fungal Partners

Mr. Tradd Cotter, Co-founder, Mushroom Mountain


Aug. 7  Swamp Monsters and Bone-Eating Snot Flowers: Poetry and the Nonhuman World

Dr. Catherine Carter, Associate Professor, Western Carolina University


Aug. 14  Cliff-Face Ecology in the Southern Appalachians

Dr. Gary Walker, Professor, Appalachian State University


Aug. 21  Wild Pigs: America’s Growing Invasive Crisis

Dr. John Mayer, Manager, Environmental Sciences, Savannah River National Laboratory


Aug. 28  Amazonian Naturalists, Artists, and the Idea of the Tropics

Dr. William Kimler, Associate Professor, NC State University


Sept. 4  The Force of Admiration: Wallace & Darwin on the Evolutionary Trail

Dr. Jim Costa, Executive Director, Highlands Biological Station; Author