History Speaks in Hatley: How plants Shape the Earth's Climate

History Speaks in Hatley: How Plants Shape the Earth’s Climate – Past, Present, & Future


Did you know that plants can affect climate?  Paul Whitaker will discuss the back-and-forth effect plants and climate have on each other at 7 pm Monday, May 14, at the Hatley Branch Library, 435 Curtis Avenue in Hatley.  This presentation is part of the History Speaks in Your Town series presented by the Marathon County Historical Society and the Continuing Education office of UW-Marathon County.


With increasing awareness of climate change, people will often make predictions such as “Climate change will increase (or decrease) populations of plant species X,” or “Species Y will expand its range northward as with rising temperatures.”  Other people make predictions that changing climate will force plant species to adapt through natural selection.  These kinds of predictions presume that climate is a geological force that shapes how plants develop and where they live.  While these predictions may be true, so is the opposite:  Throughout Earth’s history, plants have caused major changes in the Earth’s climate and are also a “geological force” to be reckoned with. 


Paul Whitaker is a Professor of Biological Sciences at UW-Marathon County, with graduate degrees in entomology and a plant sciences minor from UW-Madison.  At UWMC, he has taught botany, ecology, animal biology, entomology, and an interdisciplinary course on organic agriculture.  He has made numerous presentations for master gardeners, garden clubs, community garden groups, and at organic farming conferences.  In addition, he has served on the board of the Monk Botanical Gardens in Wausau since 2004 and currently chairs its Grounds Committee.  In the summer, he can often be found in his large vegetable garden, admiring the incredible survival and reproductive strategies of weeds and insects before deciding to dispatch them or, in some cases, let them live.


This talk is free and open to the public. All donations are appreciated. Registration is not required.


For more information, please call the Marathon County Historical Society at 715-842-5750.


The Historical Society is grateful to Janke Book Store and to Compass Properties for their sponsorship of the History Speaks series, and to the Murco Foundation and the Larry and Elsie Lohr Fund for their support for History Speaks In Your Town.


For more information, please call the Marathon County Historical Society at 715-842-5750.