Monadnock Region Natural History Conference 2022

Keynote: Uncovering the Whole Story

Sam Jaffe looks at a large moth that is perched on the bark of a tree. (photo courtesy Sam Jaffe)

The keynote address for the 2022 conference was given by Sam Jaffe, Founding Director of The Caterpillar Lab in Marlborough, NH.

This original photograph- and video-packed talk explored backyard pollinators, plants, parasitoids, and the many caterpillars that are positioned at the center of it all. The Whole Story is a celebration of caterpillars in all their incarnations and across all their ecological connections — a fresh perspective on natural history study that just might make you reconsider an herbivore’s place in our world.

Speaker Bio: Sam Jaffe is a New England-based naturalist, photographer, and educator who has been working with native insects since a very early age. Sam grew up in eastern Massachusetts chasing birds, mucking through ponds, and turning over leaves. For the last ten years, he has been photographing and filming caterpillars and organizing educational programs to share these special creatures with the public. In 2013 he founded The Caterpillar Lab (TCL), a non-profit education organization based in Marlborough, NH. In his work with TCL, Sam travels the country bringing caterpillar education (and caterpillars!) to museums, nature centers, schools, and individual teachers, with the goal of helping native insects find a place in our everyday lives. When he’s not behind the camera or tending his zoo of caterpillars, you can invariably find Sam up to his waist in vegetation.

Research Presentations

The 2022 schedule featured 16 talks on a variety of natural history topics, including wildlife, forest ecology, climate change, community science, and sense of place in the Monadnock Region. A separate poster session included presentations on invasive plants, water quality, raptors, wild bees, vernal pools, and more. See below for the conference program, a downloadable list of presentation abstracts (including speaker bios), and recordings of the keynote and oral presentations.

Contact Us

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