Opening Night

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Millbrook Book Festival 

 Opening Night


May 15, 4:00 – 8:30 p.m


4:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Lab Tours and lobby activities

Have you ever wondered what happens at the Cary Institute? On May 15th we will be welcoming visitors into our labs; see science in action and participate in demonstrations. Kid-friendly lobby activities will focus on the Hudson River and healthy snacks will be available. Following the open house, there will be a reception and a lecture on the Hudson River by Conservationist Frances Dunwell.



4:00 p.m. Lobby Activities

    Understanding Eels

: Get face-to-face with American eels. These migratory fish begin life in the Sargasso Sea. They enter the Hudson as tiny “glass eels” and spend decades reaching maturity.  Student researchers are playing an important role in monitoring declining populations. 

Hudson River Invaders: Plants and animals from around the world are now living in the Hudson River; some of them are transforming the River’s ecosystem. Learn about established invaders, such as the zebra mussel, as well as new threats, such as the Chinese mitten crab.

What Lives in the Water?

: Take a closer look at microscopic organisms that many of us overlook.  Cary Institute educators will help guests identify invertebrates and learn about insect life cycles.

Local Food

: Explore the environmental benefits of locally grown food and pot a tomato seedling to take home. Your summer sandwiches will taste better when you add in tomatoes that were nurtured with your own two hands. And you’ll reduce your carbon footprint too!

Hands on the Hudson River

: Assemble a giant floor puzzle of the Hudson River watershed.


4:15 p.m. Lab Tours Begin

The Analytical Lab

: Tour the Rachel L. Carson Analytical Facility and watch demonstrations of hightech instruments that are used to process ecological samples. Learn how, why, and what kinds of samples we analyze. There will also be a hands-on pH demonstration.

The Groffman Lab

: Soil is full of living organisms that consume and release important greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Learn about how soil microbial activity influences the Earth’s atmosphere while observing gas chromatograph readings.

The Ostfeld Lab

: Lyme disease occurrence is connected to ecosystem variables, such as small mammal populations, tick presence, and acorn abundance. Investigate ticks with a dissecting scope and learn how to identify different tree seeds.

The Strayer Lab

: Observe fish in our aquaria, learn about aquatic sampling techniques, and view some live and preserved animals using a dissecting scope.

The Weathers Lab

: Aquatic ecosystems, like lakes, are influenced by activity in the surrounding landscape. Learn about our current research in Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire. Make your own watershed and learn what happens when humans add nutrient pollution to streams and lakes.


4:30 P.M. Weather Station Tour Departs

Our weather station is constantly gathering data about climatic conditions, such as temperature and rainfall. This information is essential to tracking environmental change and supporting onsite research projects. Explore the facility with Environmental Monitoring Program Manager

Vicky Kelly


Millbrook  Book Festival

Opening Reception

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm

Auditorium Lobby


Drop by our auditorium and enjoy conversation, scientific posters, and light fare

compliments of RedDevon and Millbrook Vineyard & Winery.

Refreshements, posters, artwork, music, and more!


Nature and Science Panel

7:00 - 8:30 pm

Cary Auditorium

 The Hudson: America's River

by Frances Dunwell


For over 30 years, Frances Dunwell

has been working to protect the Hudson River and its historic heritage. She will discuss her new book, The Hudson: America’s River, which explores the River’s role in inspiring artists, entrepreneurs, presidents, environmental movements, and the rise of Manhattan.

A Q&A panel will follow the lecture; in addition to Fran, panelists will include

Stuart Findlay (Cary Institute), Sacha Spector (Scenic Hudson’s Conservation Director) and John Mylod (Commercial Fisherman, past Director of Clearwater).


Copies of her book will be available for purchase following the lecture. 

All royalties from the sale of the book are being donated to the Natural

Heritage Trust for conservation of the river.


Events are free and will be held at 2801 Sharon Turnpike in Millbrook, New York.