Alula Natural History Lectures

Alula offers talks on a wide variety of Natural History topics.  Each lecture is a power point presentation given by either John or Eileen. The fee is $100 per lecture.

As of now we can offer seven topics listed below.  However, lectures on other topics are also available, so please be sure to inquire.

Monarch Butterfly

1. Long Island: “A Migratory Motel” – Long Island provides permanent, year-round habitat for many species of wildlife such as chipmunks, deer, raccoons, black-capped chickadees and downy woodpeckers. What is less well appreciated is the role the Island plays in providing essential  habitat for a wide variety of migratory species. This lecture introduces you to the fascinating stories of two dozen species that migrate through or to Long Island.



Autumn on LI

2. Exploring the Other Island: A Seasonal Nature Guide to Long Island – based on the book written by John Turner, Alula’s President, this presentation takes you through the four seasons on Long Island, highlighting the fascinating natural events that await you if you venture outdoors.  Learn about plants that eat animals, songbird migration, the mating habits of timberdoodles and more!


Horseshoe Crab

3. The Horseshoe Crab-Shorebird Connection – Each Spring thousands of shore birds migrate through Long Island and millions through the mid-Atlantic states on their way to their arctic breeding grounds. At the same time horseshoe crabs are moving onto sandy beaches to spawn. The shorebirds take advantage of the crab eggs, some relying on them, to fuel the last leg of their migration. Learn more about the ecological relationship between these disparate species and how the fate of several shorebird species is        linked to the fate of horseshoe crabs.


Pine Barrens

4. An Introduction to the Long Island Pine Barrens – this presentation serves to introduce you to Long Island’s premier ecosystem. You’ll learn about the natural forces that shaped the area, the natural communities found within it like the Dwarf Pine Plains, and the many species that call the Pine Barrens home such as the Buck Moth and the Tiger Salamander.





Atlantic White Cedars

5. “Atlantic White Cedar: Notes on its Historical and Current Status on Long Island”. Atlantic White Cedar is one of the Island’s most iconic trees and had great historical importance to the early development of Long Island. This program will discuss the historical abundance and current distribution of Atlantic White Cedar on Long Island and opportunities for potential reintroduction.


Salt Marsh

6. Sensational Salt Marshes: No other habitats have had such a change in perception regarding their value as have salt marshes or tidal wetlands. Once reviled as “places of pestilence” salt marshes are now recognized as being among the most productive places on earth, and possessing great environmental value. This lecture provides an overview on the fundamentals of salt marsh ecology and why they play an important role on Long Island.


7. “The Turtle with the Clown Lips” A Natural and            Cultural History of the Diamondback Terrapin                  (Malaclemys terrapin): Diamondback terrapins inhabit          the salt marshes of Long Island. These beautiful turtles,                  named for the diamond-like pattern on their carapace, have          faced many obstacles, from loss of habitat to over hunting to        being caught in crab pots. This lecture will cover terrapin biology, their cultural history and the efforts being made to protect and conserve the species.


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