Ecologist Carl Safina: What Animal Cultures Can Teach Humans
Carl Safina, a MacArthur “genius” prize-wining ecologist and author, will speak on the dynamics of animal intelligence and the cultural lives of animals on Thursday, October 13, at 7:00 pm in the Vanderbilt’s Reichert Planetarium.
Safina’s lecture will draw heavily from his years of field research and from his acclaimed 2020 book Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace (Picador). In that book, Safina explores how new research in the fields of animal intelligence and emotion transforms our understanding of animal behavior and inspires us to think about the dynamics of non-human cultures.
“Culture,” Safina explains, “is information that flows socially and can be learned, retained, and shared.” Building on reports from his travels with leading wildlife and conservation biologists, his lecture will focus on three special species—sperm whales, scarlet macaws, and chimpanzees—with cultural habits that are as thought-provoking as they are remarkable.
As Safina guides us through these encounters with the inner- and social lives of animals, we might take several lessons from our non-human neighbors. In doing so, the hope is that we are compelled to become more considerate stewards of the natural world. Most importantly, we will be moved to ask, “who are our traveling companions in the journey of this planet—who are we here with?”
Becoming Wild was named a best book of the year by The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, and Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2021 Nautilus Book Award in the category of animals and nature.
Carl Safina’s work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won Orion, Lannan, and National Academies literary awards and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has a Ph.D. in ecology from Rutgers University.
Safina is the inaugural holder of the endowed chair for nature and humanity at Stony Brook University, where he co-chairs the steering committee of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and is the founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He hosted the 10-part PBS series Saving the Ocean.
Vanderbilt Annual ‘Morning for Families’
The Vanderbilt will present its annual A Morning for Families event on Saturday, October 15, from 9:00, am to 12:00 pm. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. The event is exclusively for people with special needs and their families.Free Registration
Spend the morning exploring the collections, grounds, gardens, architecture, and the Reichert Planetarium’s “Open Sky.” Activities include a preserved specimen touch table and crafts.
For more information contact Beth Laxer-Limmer at 631-854-5552 or email@example.com.
Lecture and Book Launch: ‘The Leak’
Robert P. Crease Examines Scientific Trust and Political Fallout
Crease’s lecture will serve as a book launch for his latest publication, The Leak: Politics, Activists, and Loss of Trust at Brookhaven National Laboratory (The MIT Press), co-authored with former BNL Director Peter D. Bond. In The Leak, Crease reconstructs the events of 1997, when scientists discovered a small leak of radioactive water near the laboratory’s research reactor. He details how, despite posing no threat to public safety, the discovery sparked public outrage; drew the attention of politicians, activists, actors, and supermodels; and threatened the existence of the national laboratory.
Crease’s narrative retelling of “the leak’s” fallout offers a timely reflection on the gaps that still exist between social, political, and media understandings of science and, in doing so, examines how our institutions can build better trust with the publics they serve.
The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Tickets are available online at the Museum’s website. Members have FREE admission.
Copies of The Leak will be available for purchase at the lecture.
Robert P. Crease is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University, where he has taught for more than three decades. His research in phenomenology, the philosophy of science, and aesthetics has influenced countless scholars and helped bridge the gap between the arts and sciences. He has published, edited, or translated 16 books, including The Workshop and the World: What Ten Thinkers Can Teach Us about Science and Authority and World in the Balance: The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement. In 2021, Crease received the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize for his contributions in explaining scientific ideas to humanities scholars.
Seasonal Fun: ‘Mr. Vanderbilt’s Spooky Science Lab’
Join us for some creepy fun! We’re turning off the lights for a scavenger hunt in the collections galleries and will create jars that can be used in any spooky Halloween display.
Registration is online only. Cost: $20 / $18 for members. For more information, call 631-854-5552.
“Kids love exploring the collections in the dark with flashlights,” said Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education. “They notice things they might usually miss – like a hawk’s hooked beak or the spines on a sea urchin.”
‘Storytime Under the Stars’ for Children Returns
The Vanderbilt Museum’s Storytime Under the Stars program, the second in a series, will be offered on Sunday, October 30, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. A live narrator will be at the front of the theater reading selected picture books, with pages projected onto the Planetarium dome for families to enjoy the illustrations and follow along.
Between stories, an astronomy educator will explore seasonal constellations visible from here on Long Island. All children are invited to wear their comfiest pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animals. The admission fee is $8 per person and $6 for members.
Erin Bennett, Planetarium Education Coordinator, said, “Storytime Under the Stars brings classic storybooks to life, and will introduce families to new favorites, too. We’re excited to revitalize this popular planetarium program using our state-of-the-art digital projectors. Join us for a magical and memorable night out with the whole family.”
‘Crying the News’: Child Labor and Print Culture
On Thursday, November 10, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Vincent DiGirolamo, an award-winning historian, for an evening lecture on print culture, newsboys, and the labor practices of the press.
DiGirolamo’s lecture, in the Reichert Planetarium, will draw heavily from his years of scholarship and from his acclaimed 2019 book Crying the News: A History of America’s Newsboys (Oxford University Press). In Crying the News, DiGirolamo offers an epic retelling of the American experience from the perspective of the famed newsie, a young man who once hawked newspapers on street corners and contributed to the birth of the American press.
In his research, DiGirolamo examines a wide berth of historical phenomena, from newsboy strikes and protests to the development of corporate welfare schemes, scientific management practices, and employee liability laws. DiGirolamo takes a well-represented cultural figure, the “little merchant” of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and traces how he evolved into a dominant symbol of entrepreneurship, print capitalism, and popular democracy.
Crying the News is the winner of the Fredrick Jackson Turner Award, the Philip Taft Labor History Prize, the Frank Luther Mott Research Award, the Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize, and the Vincent P. DeSantis Book Prize from the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Tickets are available online at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s website. Support for this lecture comes from museum members and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.
Vincent DiGirolamo, who received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, is an associate professor of history at Baruch College of the City University of New York. He specializes in 19th– and 20th-century United States history, with an emphasis on workers, children, immigrants, city life, and print culture. His articles have appeared in popular and academic journals, including Time, Labor History, Journal of Social History, and American Heritage. His research has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society, the Eugene M. Lang Foundation, and the CUNY Office of Research.
See Classic Porsches on Vanderbilt Great Lawn
The show is open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Cars will be displayed on the estate grounds with a spectacular view of Northport Bay.
Visitors pay only general Museum admission. There is no extra charge to attend the car shows. Adults $10; seniors (62 plus) and students with ID $9; children 12 and under $7.
Fall Sunset Yoga Flow Evening with Bay View
Jump-start your weekend on Friday, October 14, with yoga on the Vanderbilt Estate grounds and a beautiful view of Northport Harbor – led by Jennifer Eagen of Pop Up Prana Yoga. Check-in begins at 5:30 pm for the 6:00 yoga session.
“Our practice will be an open level for new and experienced yogis,” Eagen said. “If you are new to the practice, we will offer many variations to accommodate your practice. If you’re an advanced yogi and seek growth, we have you covered. You will be given an opportunity to shine and improvise your own variations throughout the session.”
Note: all props and mats will only be provided upon request, in advance of the event. Participants are asked to bring their own mat and yoga props.
CEED Biologist-Ranger Leads Owl Prowls
Biologist and ranger Eric Powers, co-founder of the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery (CEED), plans three Owl Prowls on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Estate and Museum – at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 22 and November 12, and Friday, November 18.
After a presentation on the owls of Long Island, Powers will lead a walk on the estate grounds, during which he will attempt to call in nearby owls. Flashlights are not permitted. Sturdy footwear is recommended as the trail is uneven and it will be dark.
Tickets: Members, free; non-Members, $12.
CEED, based in Brookhaven, Long Island, is a nature center that inspires connections to the joys of nature through education and experience. CEED serves children, youth, and adults through public nature programs and events, school and community-based environmental education, conservation projects, live animal ambassadors, and more.
‘The Sinister Beauty Of Carnivorous Plants’
Beth Laxer-Limmer, Associate Director of Education, said, “In this family-friendly presentation, Matt Kaelin will share his expertise and his captivating photography of the carnivorous plants that people might not typically think of as being native to Long Island.”
Kaelin has been cultivating carnivorous plants for decades. His photography has been exhibited in fine art galleries, he has authored natural history articles, won horticultural awards, and named two Nepenthes cultivars.
Adults and children 10 and older, $10.
Us and Floyd: Two Shows in Reichert Planetarium
Join Us and Floyd on Friday, November 4, at the Vanderbilt Reichert Planetarium for a dazzling live performance – in sync with two stunning Pink Floyd laser-light shows, The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon.
7:00 pm: The Wall laser show featuring hits from Dark Side of the Moon
9:00 pm: Dark Side of the Moon laser show featuring hits from The Wall
Advance tickets online: adults $30, members $25, ages 15 and under $25. At the door: adults $35, members $25, ages 15 and under $30.Purchase Tickets
This tribute band strives to perform accurate recreations of the timeless music of Pink Floyd. These nine professional musicians grew up as avid Floyd fans and incorporate their knowledge of the band and its history into every live show. Their collective appreciation for Floyd is evident in the passion and precision of their performances.
Us and Floyd has been playing in New York area music venues and throughout the Northeast for many years. The band has performed at venues that include Mauch Chunk Opera House in Pennsylvania, The Space at Westbury, the Great South Bay Music Festival, New York State Fair, Citifield, and Foxwoods Casino. Visit http://www.usandfloyd.com/
Walk & Talk Tours: Architectural Details, Famous Ironwork
Come for an intriguing walking tour of the Vanderbilt Estate with knowledgeable Museum educators. Learn about the history of the Eagle’s Nest estate; Warren & Wetmore’s design and exterior architectural details of the 24-room Spanish Revival mansion; and the striking ironwork of Samuel Yellin, considered the greatest iron artisan of the early 20th century.
The next Walk and Talk Tour, created by the Vanderbilt Education Department will be Saturday, October 22.
Tickets, which include general admission, are available for purchase only at the door: Adults $16, seniors/students $15, children under 12 $13, and Members FREE.
Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said, “The grounds are beautiful at this time of year and the walking tour is a perfect way to be introduced to the history of the estate and collections. There is an abundance of beauty in the eclectic architecture and the unique details that reflect William Vanderbilt’s interests.”
William K. Vanderbilt II (1878-1944) spent summers at his Eagle’s Nest estate and mansion on Northport Bay between 1910 and 1944. He and his wife, Rosamond, hosted intimate gatherings and entertained well-known guests, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Pierre Cartier, Conde Nast, Charles Lindbergh, and the Tiffanys. Eagle’s Nest is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Roman Zavada: ‘Résonances Boréales’
Roman Zavada will perform, Résonances Boréales, piano compositions inspired by the spectacular aurora borealis in the Reichert Planetarium Theater on Saturday, November 12, at 5:30 and 7:00 pm. He describes the performance – accompanied by stunning video images on the dome – as a dialogue between a single piano and the northern lights.
With an upright piano anchored to the rock of the Canadian Shield, at the edge of the taiga, Roman Zavada created piano compositions inspired by one of the most spectacular and majestic phenomena on Earth: the aurora borealis of the Northwest Territories. Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its beauty and originality, Résonances Boréales is an exceptional 360-degree dome show featuring Zavada’s piano performance. This immersive experience takes the audience on a journey above the 60th parallel as Zavada translates the spirit of the North in a dialogue between the piano and the pulsing energies of the astonishing northern lights.
Roman Zavada is a self-taught Ukrainian and Québécois-born pianist whose creative direction is based on instinct, spontaneity, and improvisation. His first piano experiences go back to early childhood. As he got older, he quickly developed a passion for showmanship and improvisation while breathing new life into the silver-screen classics of the past and became a silent-film accompanist. He improvised musical narration in real time, which made the musical notes of the soundtrack seem part of the film. He later returned to his personal compositions with an all-new large-scale project: Résonances Boréales.
Inspired by the Northern vibes and the splendor of the aurora borealis, Roman Zavada continued the composition of nine evocative titles over two years. Each piece, based on twenty hours of improvisation in the middle of Prelude Lake’s boreal forest in the Northwest Territories, reflects deeply the sensibility felt beyond the 60th parallel. Résonances Boréales is an album rich in emotion with a strong pianistic and artistic personality.
Vanderbilt Welcomes First Responder as Guests
The Vanderbilt will welcome First Responders and their families as guests by offering them free general admission on National First Responders Day, Friday, October 28, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Sponsored by Northwell Health.
First responders will be asked for ID cards or proof of affiliation.
“We salute the brave men and women who make sacrifices and face danger every day to protect our communities,” said Elizabeth Wayland-Morgan, executive director of the Vanderbilt. (This includes police, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical service personnel.)
“We’re offering free admission because these people are our neighbors and they provide essential services,” Wayland-Morgan said. “It’s hard on their spouses, families, and children. A fun day at the Vanderbilt is one way to thank them.”
‘Wildman’ Steve Brill Leads Foraging Event
Environmental educator and author “Wildman” Steve Brill, who gives wild food and ecology tours, will offer Foraging with the ‘Wildman’ on the estate grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum on Saturday, November 19, from 9:00 am to noon. A 60-minute indoor presentation will precede a two-hour tour, which will be followed by a book signing.
“With cultivated areas, fields, thickets, woods, and the seashore, the grounds of the Vanderbilt Museum is a bonanza for wild foods in late fall, and everything the group will be finding is renewable,” Brill said.
“Cold-tolerant wild greens will be thriving in sunny areas and along trail edges. We’ll be looking for chickweed, which tastes like corn on the cob, lemony sheep sorrel, garlicky garlic mustard, spicy hairy bittercress, and pungent field garlic. The sour leaves of curly dock will be back, and its relative, bitter dock, will have leaves large enough to roll up with a stuffing like that of stuffed cabbage, or even filled with fruit and nuts.”
Participants should bring plastic bags for veggies and herbs, a paper bag for rmushrooms, which spoil in plastic, and a plastic container in case they find autumn olive berries. Digging implements such as small hand shovels are recommended, as roots will be in season.
Brill urged participants to wear closed shoes, long pants, and long sleeves for protection from poison ivy and ticks, plus an extra layer of clothing in case it gets cold. Smoking and vaping are not allowed.
Children are welcome. Adults and children 12 and older $10, children under 12 free. Members $9.
Brill’s books include Foraging in New York (Globe Pequot Press, 2017), on the state’s best edible plants; Foraging with Kids (Brill is author, artist, and publisher, 2014), a wild foods guide with science, folklore, history, recipes, games, and activities, for teachers, parents, and grandparents to use with kids; and The Wild Vegan Cookbook: A Guide to Preparing Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Foods (Harvard Common Press, 2002). Other books include Shoots and Greens of Early Spring in Eastern North America (self-published with his illustrations, 1986) and Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not-So-Wild) Places (Harper Collins, 1994). Brill also has created an app, Wild Edibles Forage.
Raptors & Recycled Art: Children’s Workshop
Beth Laxer-Limmer, associate director of education, said “Participants will explore the Bird Room and learn about the birds of prey in the collections, dissect an owl pellet, and make art out of egg cartons.”
Fee: $20 per person, $18 for Members. To reserve a space, call 631-854-5539.
Vanderbilt Bricks Mark Milestones, Memories
Celebrate your family, a loved one, a special anniversary, or other milestones and memories by sponsoring a commemorative brick with a custom engraving. Your donation will help the Vanderbilt Museum to bring outstanding science, history, and art education to more than 25,000 students annually.
Your message will be displayed permanently in one of the brick walkways around the Vanderbilt Mansion and Terrace, or on the grounds of the beautiful waterfront Estate.
For more information, call Debbie Stacel at 631-854-5579, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org