fbpx The Future of Biodiversity in the Age of Humans | The Morton Arboretum

The Future of Biodiversity in the Age of Humans

Schedule and location

Wednesday, June 12, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Arbor Room, Thornhill Education Center

Fees and Registration

$12.00 member
$16.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course description

Join us at The Morton Arboretum for a discussion with botanist John Kress, PhD, of the Smithsonian Institution for a look at the role that humans play on the planet--past, present, and future. 

Although humans arrived only recently in Earth’s timeline, we as a species are driving major changes to the planet’s structure and ecosystems. Even now, the basic requirements for our own lives--air, water, shelter, food, nature, and culture--are rapidly transforming the planet, as billions of people deplete its natural resources. These changes have become so noticeable on a global scale that scientists believe we are living in a new chapter in Earth’s story: the Anthropocene, or the Age of Humans.

Dr. Kress will explain what this all means for the planet’s future:

  • What caused the Anthropocene era?
  • How are the planet’s species impacted by human activity?
  • How are the planet’s environmental and biological systems affected?
  • How are societies responding and adapting?
  • What does the future look like for the planet, and for our own lives?

Course number



Dr. John Kress

Dr. John Kress is a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College and distinguished scientist and curator of botany for Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. He is leading the development of the Earth Biogenome project, which aims to sequence the DNA of all living things on Earth in ten years in order to benefit human welfare, protect biodiversity, and understand ecosystems. Dr. Kress has served as the interim Undersecretary for Science, has been a leader in the tropical botany community for many decades, and has completed significant studies of pollinator/plant interactions.

Course details

The Future of Biodiversity in the Age of Humans