Zahner Conservation Lecture Series

Since its founding in 1927, the Highlands Biological Station has had a wider scope than research alone.

A quote from Ralph Sargent’s book “Biology in the Blue Ridge” (1977) summarizes this idea nicely – “[The Highlands Biological Station] has sought to interest local residents, visitors, and the general public in the full natural and cultural history of the region and to bring to them awareness of and care for the whole environment, physical, biological, and human of the southern mountains.”

One of the Station’s most enduring avenues for spreading this interest has been the tradition of weekly summer lectures. Every summer the Highlands Nature Center hosts 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. Named for the significant contributions of Dr. Robert Zahner and his wife Glenda, of Highlands, to land conservation efforts on the Highlands Plateau.

The Zahner Conservation Lecture Series serves to educate and inspire the public through a series of talks from well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers. The series is made possible by the Highlands Biological Foundation, and from donations from numerous individuals and local organizations.

The public is invited to participate in these free lectures, which will be held each Thursday evening at 6:00pm at the Highlands Nature Center at 930 Horse Cove Road in Highlands. 

2018 schedule listed below.  2019 coming soon!

The Endangered Rock Gnome Lichen: A Conservation Success Story

July 12th

Dr. Jessica Allen, postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research.

Sponsored by Glenn Murer and JT Fields

Planting in a Post-Wild World

July 19th

Claudia West, ASLA and Principal of Phyto Studios, LLC

Sponsored by Canty Worley & Co. 

Timber Rattlesnakes on the Highlands Plateau

July 26th

Dr. Christopher L. Jenkins, CEO, Orianne Society

Sponsored by Suzanne & Don Duggan, Ruthie & Franko Oliver, Adele & Nick Scielzo, Margaret & John Bennet Waters. 

Why Do We Still Have So Many Herpetological Mysteries?

August 2nd

Adventure with Reptiles and Amphibians: Dr Whit Gibbons, Professor Emeritus of Ecology, University of Georgia, SREL

Sponsored by the Pattersons