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New England Plant Communities

Thursday 5 p.m. to Saturday 3 p.m.

Hybrid: online and offsite


This hybrid course features an online lecture on Thursday, May 19, and in-person field study Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. , May 21. Join ecologist Ted Elliman for an exploration of native New England plant communities. A Thursday lecture will cover many of the forest, meadow, and wetland habitats found in Berkshire County, discussing their physical and ecological features— topography, geology, soils, and moisture— as well as their characteristic plant associations, including both common and rare plants. The Saturday field trip will take us to a variety of forested, open, and wetland habitats, for a close look at the flora and features of each. Ted will also discuss the impacts of invasive species, and possible changes to natural communities in response to climate change. We will travel in BBG’s passenger van. Please dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes (we will be walking nearly the entire day) and bring a bagged lunch if attending the Saturday field study.


Ted Elliman worked for many years for Native Plant Trust as a staff botanist, invasive species program manager, and as an instructor of botany, ecology, and conservation classes. His book, The Wildflowers of New England, an identification guide to much of the region's native flora, was published in 2016 by Timber Press. In the 1980's, Ted started and directed an environmental education and wilderness adventure center in the Berkshires. Since the mid-1990's, he has periodically led natural history tours to southwest China, where he worked for two years as a teacher and forest ecologist.

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