In arid grasslands and deserts throughout North and South America, the most abundant insects are harvester ants. These large and conspicuous ant species feed on seeds, which they harvest directly from plants and store in their nests. Unlike most species of ants, members of a single colony are not closely related to each other; each colony is genetically diverse. Join Professor Diane Wiernasz of the University of Houston as she discusses how the harvester ant life cycle is an adaptation to the harsh conditions of the desert, how these ants affect the abundance and distribution of plant communities, and the sometimes surprising consequences of colony genetic variation.
Plants, like humans, interact with a diversity of microscopic organisms, and scientists are just becoming aware of the role that microbiomes play in influencing host health. Current evidence suggests that despite their small size, microbes can have big impacts on natural ecosystems – from influencing whether plants are edible to determining how diverse a prairie is.
Lady beetles, or ladybugs, have long been recognized as one of the best biological controls for many insect pests in both home gardens and agri-business. The diversity in this family of insects has been well-characterized yet they have largely been represented by only a few select species which have been introduced in the U.S. via different methods. So, who are our native lady beetles? What are their dietary preferences and habitat needs? This presentation is an introduction to some of the native lady beetles in the greater Houston area and an overview of their biology and habitat needs.
A lecture event with Robert Reich on his upcoming book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It.
Free and open to the public, including nonmembers. Amnesty International, Houston, local 23 will offer lobby training: getting petition signatures, letter writing, public events and lobbying your political leaders. We hope you’ll attend and put another tool in your activist toolbox as we work for human rights change here in Houston.
Think that soil is just dirt? Think again! Join John Ferguson, soil scientist, owner of Nature’s Way Resources, and an organic gardening expert, in February as he explains the wonders of soil. You’ll leave this talk amazed at what lies beneath your feet.
Join Norwegian Herman Reksten as he shares his experiences as captain of the fishing vessel Al Awda which was intercepted and boarded in international waters and taken to Israel on July 29, 2018. This was his third attempt at breaking the blockade of Gaza even though he is not quite 30 years old. Get a feel for life on a boat trying to break the over 10 year old Gaza blockade!
Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston invites you to a monthly environmental education web meeting series. In January, Jaime Gonzalez, Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager for The Nature Conservancy, will highlight a variety of local environmental issues, and how local people/organizations are coming together to address them. He will explain tools used for environmental action mapping that make collective action more effective.
Stephen Long, a public health physician, will discuss the EAT Lancet Commission on Food, Planet & Health: Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems report at Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 9:45 a.m. This study, compiled by 37 scientists and other experts from 16 countries, aims to establish a global food economy that could combat chronic diseases in wealthy nations like ours and provide better nutrition for poor ones, all without destroying the planet.
Nicholas Kristof and spouse and co-author Sheryl WuDunn discuss their new book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for hope. Solutions to the crisis in working class America.