Adult Opportunities

Women and the Environment Speaker Series

Guest speakers share about their work and the women that inspired them.

Content Detail

Celebrate the contributions that women have made to the natural world through conservation work, science, advocacy, and education during this month-long series at The Morton Arboretum in honor of Women’s History Month. Though historically underrepresented in environmental fields, women—past and present, and from a diversity of backgrounds—have overcome barriers to pursue their passions and leave a lasting legacy for the natural world and the women following in their footsteps.

Join us in observance of Women’s History Month as guest speakers share about their work on behalf of nature, stories of the women that inspired them, and the path forward for the women who are poised to follow in their footsteps.

Attend the talks in this series in person at the Arboretum, or join virtually on Zoom.

Colah B Tawkin, host and creator, Black in the Garden

Colah B Tawkin is a visionary leader, skillfully combining her passion for planting with her creativity and charisma on the mic. As the mastermind behind the Black in the Garden podcast and founder of the nonprofit Underground Arborist, she’s on a mission to diversify plant-related industries as she amplifies the green aspect of Black culture. In its first years, the podcast gained top ratings and a global audience, connecting with influential guests and fostering inclusivity. Tawkin’s wit and insights make horticulture accessible, while her role as a mother and former trucker enriches her unique perspective. She’s a sought-after speaker and an ambassador for environmental stewardship through her nonprofit. She embraces her calling as the planeteer Captain Planet raised her to be, blooming with purpose and making a powerful impact!

Silvia Alvarez-Clare, PhD, director of Global Tree Conservation, The Morton Arboretum

As the director of Global Tree Conservation at The Morton Arboretum, Silvia Alvarez-Clare’s science-informed, stakeholder-inclusive conservation projects support the Arboretum’s goal of protecting trees worldwide. Her  research focuses on using long-term monitoring, experimentation, and basic ecological techniques to understand how changes in climate, land use, and soil nutrients impact plant communities, particularly trees. She strives to translate her research into better policies, improved management practices, or restoration actions that will aid in saving tree species from extinction.

Dr. Kinari Webb, founder, Health in Harmony

Dr. Kinari Webb, MD, is the founder of Health in Harmony, a nonprofit working to reverse tropical rainforest deforestation to halt the climate and nature crises. Dr. Webb developed the vision for Health In Harmony on an undergraduate trip to study orangutans at Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesian Borneo in 1993. Dr. Webb graduated from Yale University School of Medicine with honors and then founded Health In Harmony in 2005 to support the combined human and environmental work that she envisioned. She also co-founded Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI) with Hotlin Ompusunggu and Antonia Gorog. Dr. Webb currently splits her time between Indonesia, international site assessments, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her book, Guardians of the Trees: A Journey of Hope through Healing the Plant, is available anywhere books are sold.

Annamaria Leon, co-owner, Homan Grown L3C

Annamaria Leon lives and works on the west side of Chicago in the neighborhood of North Lawndale. She is the co-owner of Homan Grown L3C and the co-founder of the Permaculture Chicago Teaching Institute (PCTI).


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift