All events will be held at the Connor Forestry Center unless otherwise specified.


Wisconsin’s Boreal Birds in the Midst of a Changing Climate
Monday, June 24, 7:00 pm
Session Leader: Janelle Taylor, UW-Madison

The southern-most extent of the boreal forest reaches the northern third of Wisconsin, where uniform conifer forests transition into hardwoods interlaced with lowland black spruce swamps. Within these swamps live a suite of boreal bird species which are year-round residents. These charismatic species include Canada jays, spruce grouse, black-backed woodpeckers, and boreal chickadees. Over the past decade, these species’ populations have steeply declined, with boreal chickadees becoming nearly non-existent. Join UW-Madison PhD Candidate, Janelle Taylor, for a look at her study of these species, their habitat needs, and how her research will inform current and future conservation importance for the survival of these species.

Fish Up Close!
Wednesday, July 10, 10:00 am – Noon
Location: Park at the Outdoor Pavilion – displays at the Lab & Boat Launch area
Lead by: Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, UW-Stevens Point

Kids of all ages will enjoy this close up look at fish! Members of the Wisconsin Cooperative Fishery Research Unit of UW-Stevens Point will be on hand to teach you about the life history, unique characteristics, anatomy and the environment in which fish live. Learn how scientists determine the age of a fish. Various specimens will be available to view and touch, along with special equipment used to study fish. You may come anytime during the event and visit the different displays.

Fun In the Forest (Ages 5 to 11)
Thursday, July 11, 10:00 am
Location: Outdoor Pavilion
Lead by: Scott Bowe, Professor of Forestry, UW-Madison

Join us for an exciting forest adventure to learn about the forests of Northern Wisconsin.  Our trek will show us how forests change over time and how much we depend upon our forests for products that we use every day.  We will end our trek with a stop on the Jyme Lake bog.  Please wear old shoes or sturdy sandals since your feet will get wet on the bog.  The hike distance will be about 1 mile.  Parents and grandparents are welcome to join in the fun.

Common Loon Survival
Monday, July 15, 7:00 pm**
Lead by: Walter Piper, Chapman University

Dr. Walter Piper has studied the Common Loon since 1993, focusing on territory defense, habitat selection, and breeding behavior. In 2019, recognizing a decline in survival rates for chicks and young adults, his study emphasis has shifted to investigating what factors impact survival rates. Learn how water clarity affects loon breeding success and about the impact of male and female age on loon breeding success. (**Note: Date may change based on the timing of the loons and its affect on Dr. Piper’s availability. Please check the Kemp website for updates.)

Taxonomy, Natural History and Conservation of Wisconsin Fireflies
Monday, July 22, 6:30 pm
Session Leader: Dr. Dan Young, Professor of Entomology, and Director of the UW Insect Research Collection (WIRC), UW-Madison

So, what is the difference between a fire beetle and a firefly (not a fly) – and, for that matter, a glowworm (not a worm)? Come learn about Wisconsin’s firefly biodiversity, the natural history of our species, and some significant conservation concerns. We will also have an “illuminating” introduction into bioluminescence! Oh, and by all means – bring along any of your beetle questions (including specimens you are wondering about), as well.

The Science of Wood: Trees to Products
Monday, July 29, 7:00 pm
Lead by: Logan Wells, Wood Science Faculty, Northcentral Technical College

When hiking in a forest, a variety of tree species are seen, each with their own unique features. You enjoy and appreciate their beauty and what they contribute to the environment, but do you ever think about the science in the tree itself? The property of wood is influenced by how the tree grows and those characteristics impact the end use of that tree. Come learn about all of the different products made from trees! Discover why we use sugar maple trees for bowling pins, white oak for wine barrels and so much more.


Introduction to Bryophyte Ecology and Identification (with a focus on peat mosses and other field-identifiable taxa)
Saturday, August 10, 9:00 am
Session Leader: Alex Graeff, Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service

We will discuss some basic morphology, growth habits, substrates, and the ecology of mosses that we encounter at Kemp Natural Resources Station. This workshop will begin with a short (roughly 30 minutes) indoor presentation, and then proceed with a hike along Kemp’s nature trail – including some time on the bog! The hike will be about 1 mile and includes some moderately strenuous terrain, though we will pause often for discussion as we encounter interesting bryos. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring water bottle and snacks as appropriate for you. The hike portion will last up to 2.5 hours, with early departures understood.


Wacky Weather and Tree Health
Thursday, August 15, 7:00 pm
Session Leader: Dr. Glen Stanosz, UW-Madison

In recent years, weather seems to be wacky. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry…. climate appears to be changing, or at least weather extremes are occurring outside of historical norms. Weather directly and indirectly influences incidence and severity of tree diseases, with detrimental effects of economic, recreational, and aesthetic values. We will consider how our wacky weather seriously impacts health of trees in our yards and forests.


Clearcut: Friend OR Foe?
Monday, August 19, 7:00 pm
Lead by: Matt Carothers, Forester

From a boots-on-the-ground perspective, this discussion will tackle the word “clearcut” head-on. Matt Carothers is a local forestry practitioner and landowner rooted in a conservation ethos. Ride along as he discusses that clearcuts are often misunderstood. Come learn how you, too, can be a friend of forestry through enlightening your understanding of the silviculture you see around our Northwoods.

Wolves & CWD in White-tailed Deer
Monday, August 26, 7:00 pm
Lead by: Michael Menon, UW-Madison PhD Student

Join us for an update on an ongoing study that asks the question: “Can wolves help control the spread of CWD in white-tailed deer?” The study is investigating if wolves selectively predate on infected deer, how effectively wolves remove a carcass with CWD from the landscape and monitors whether wolves keep other scavengers away from the kill site. This collaboration between UW-Madison and the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission blends traditional ecological knowledge with scientific ecological knowledge to seek answers to many questions about the role the wolf plays with CWD.

Fungi Fest
Friday & Saturday, September 27-28

Whether you are new to the fabulous world of fungi, or have been studying it for years, this event will have something for you! Join us Friday evening for indoor presentations. Saturday morning will begin with a foray, followed by extensive discussion about the morning’s collections. When available, details will be at kemp.wisc.edu/outreach. Limited lodging is available for visitors coming a distance at a rate of $21 per person, per night. Contact Karla for details, kemp@cals.wisc.edu or 715-358-5667.

Science on Tap – Minocqua