Sunday, March 15, 2015

Carnegie Museum to host discussion on Keweenaw plants by Karena Schmidt March 17

Poster for the March 17 discussion on Keweenaw plants by Karena Schmidt, expert on natural plant communities and Michigan Tech's greenhouse manager. (Poster courtesy Carnegie Museum)

HOUGHTON -- Karena Schmidt, expert on natural plant communities and Michigan Tech's greenhouse manager, will lead a discussion on "Natural History and (un)natural future of plants in Keweenaw and Isle Royale" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, at the Carnegie Museum. An introduction and refreshments, from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., will precede the lecture and discussion.

"Geologically, Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula reflect each other quite nicely," Schmidt explains. "Bedrock twins one could say. Botanically, too, the spare acidic soils maneuvered by glaciers are the substrate to a host of plants that manage to survive dynamic influences of Lake Superior. Historically humans, in their quest for cash, mined for copper and harvested magnificent old-growth forests; their actions radically altered the vegetative landscape, even more than a beaver or moose could ever dream. Isle Royale and the Keweenaw have recovered quite differently from these ventures for a variety of reasons we will explore. There is no end to the botanical delights that await discovery and understanding. Many plants here are western disjuncts, primarily having home base in the Pacific Northwest. Many arctic species reach their southern-most limit. Plants readily identified with more southerly climes reach their northern-most limit, putting down roots yet declaring thus far and no farther. Unique too are large and diverse populations of orchids, heathers and lichens all of which have evolved unique and admirable adaptations to abide in the spectacular Keweenaw terrain."

This event is part of the 2014-2015 Keweenaw Natural History Heritage seminar series at the Carnegie Museum.

Coming Tuesday, April 14: "Talking Rocks: Common Ground -- Geology in the Lake Superior Region and Native Americans." Come join the conversation as earth scientist Ron Morton and Native American elder Carl Gawboy -- wise men from two cultures -- explore the natural history of the Lake Superior region, examining both the science and the spirit of the land. For more information click here.

The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is located at Huron and Montezuma in downtown Houghton. Seminars are held in the recently restored Community Room on the ground level of this historic building. Lectures are free, open to the public, and barrier free (wheelchair accessible). For each monthly lecture, the museum will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments; lectures and discussion from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, please contact the Museum by telephone (906-482-7140) or Email (; find them on Facebook, or go to the Seminar Web-site.

No comments: