Townsquare/Dstillery pixel

Saturday Speaker Series

Year after year, expert speakers in our popular Saturday Series draw an audience from far and near. Participants leave with knowledge they can use in their own gardens, yards, and homes. Some events include demonstrations. The Hamilton College campus is an accredited arboretum; please consider time to explore if you attend one of our events.

All events in this series begin at 10 a.m. and are free and open to the public. 

We encourage membership in the Arboretum as it helps support the programs offered throughout the year.

NOTE:  At this time, individuals must be vaccinated and boosted to attend indoor events on campus. Due to changing COVID concerns, the decision to go Zoom-only is a possibility. On-campus speakers will also be available on Zoom. 

Please check the website prior to each event for its on-campus status. 

Directions & Campus Map

Speaker Series 2022-23

February 11, 2023bags of apples

“Modern Orchard Sustainability” with Jason Townsend

Jason Townsend will talk about modern orchard sustainability, with a focus on apples, including grafting techniques and New York’s burgeoning group of small farm hard cider crafters. Jason is a farmer with a passion for producing high-quality, sustainable, local food. He will also tell us about the apple tree varieties and cultural techniques that have his 500+ tree organic orchard thriving at Kingfisher Farm, the certified organic vegetable and fruit farm his family owns in Oneida County. Jason is also a conservation biologist and Professor of Instruction in biology at Hamilton. He hJason Townsend and his children in their done fieldwork in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, California, Hawai'i, New Hampshire, and New York. He is particularly interested in the wildlife benefits of organic and sustainable farming techniques. His farming work focuses on agroecology and sustainability at the local level, and he has managed farms in the Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, and California’s Central Valley. Many current and former Hamilton students have worked on Kingfisher Farm to experience a sustainable farming operation first-hand.


February 25, 2023 

“Dreaming of Spring” with Scott Brinitzer ’85Head and shoulders photo of Scott Brinitzer

If you are like us on College Hill in Clinton, New York, around mid-February, you start to dream of warmer temperatures and plants in bloom. Landscape architect and designer Scott Brinitzer ’85 will share some of his beautiful landscape designs and provide tips to prepare for the eventual arrival of spring. He will have suggestions for Zone 5 plantings and will discuss what you need to ask yourself as you begin to plan your projects. Come and dream with us. Spring is just around the corner.

Scott is the owner of Scott Brinitzer Design Associates, a landscape architecture and garden design firm based in Arlington, Virginia for more than 30 years. His designs and projects have won awards such as APLD International Gold, Monrovia International Landscape Design, and Arlington Excellence in Design. They have been featured in Better Homes & Gardens and This Old House.


March 25, 2023    

“A Farm-to-Table Eatery Takes a Leap of Faith…How We Came to Support NYS Wines” with Tim Hardiman

The Tailor and the Cook has been one of the brightest spots in Utica’s rich culinaHead and shoulders photo of Tim Hardimanry nightlife for the past decade. When the restaurant was conceived, owner and executive chef Tim Hardiman envisioned offering provocative cuisine and top-notch service in a comfortable atmosphere. They endeavored to do this in a location and neighborhood rich with local history. Obtaining local products is of the utmost importance to The Tailor and the Cook. Sourcing ingredients from New York State farms allows them to cook with the seasons and serve the freshest and most creative dishes. In turn, this business model enhances the environmental and economic health of the community. Tim will talk about how they came to recognize and promote the unique quality of New York State wines. You willBottle of wine on a countertop in front of shelves in a brick wall. learn about cool climate viticulture, the wine varietals of NYS, and much more about the wine industry of New York and how it became a passion project for Hardiman and a core tenet of the mission of his business. 




April 15, 2023 

“Changing Seasons: What Happens to Plaphoto of green leaves and one red leafnts in a Less Predictable World?” with Peter Guiden

Changing temperatures, varied rain, snowfall, and shifting seasons seem to suggest that plants will be more stressed and less productive in the future. But there are still many unknowns. Peter Guiden, assistant professor of biology at Hamilton College, will talk about his research on invasive plants, changing autumn conditions, and winter climate change affecting plants. 

Pete is a community ecologist,Head and shoulders photo of Peter Guiden studying the interaction of living things. An important component of his research is understanding how humans alter these interactions through climate change, habitat loss, and the introduction of invasive species. He received a Ph.D. in integrative biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoys bringing his research into the classroom, especially the chance to involve students in the effort to conserve and restore biodiversity on campus.




The $400 million campaign to provide students with a life-altering education.

Learn More About the Campaign

Site Search