Adult Programs

Environmental Studies Institute

The Harris Center’s Environmental Studies Institute (ESI) courses provide opportunities for adults to learn about the Monadnock Region’s natural history, connect to the outdoors, and engage in meaningful discussion about the environment. Read on for our Winter 2018 listings!


Weasel, Mink, Fisher, and Otter, Oh My!
a mink perces on a piece of dead wood (photo: Kelly Colgan Azar)

Learn how mink and other mustelids make their way through the world in this winter ESI course.
(photo: Kelly Colgan Azar)

Join Meade Cadot and Susie Spikol Faber for an exploration of New Hampshire’s mustelid family. See how these long, lean mammals make their living, survive the winter, and care for their young, and learn how humans have viewed and used them over time. We’ll bring these bounders to life by looking closely at pelts, mounts, skulls, and other natural history artifacts, then head outside to search for tracks and sign they’ve left behind.

This course will meet on Fridays, February 9, 16, and 23, from 11 a.m. to noon at the Harris Center and local field sites.

Cost: $30 for Harris Center members / $50 for non-members

Instructors: Meade Cadot and Susie Spikol Faber have been weaseling around these parts for many years. Meade, senior-most naturalist for the Harris Center, is an advocate for fishers and a fishing companion to otters when he isn’t busy helping protect land for the Harris Center. Susie loves to slide as much as any otter and enjoys a similar diet to the mink. She has shared her love for mustelids with many in the Monadnock Region as one of the Harris Center’s longtime naturalists.

Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Sara LeFebvre at (603) 525-3394 or lefebvre@harriscenter.org.


Forest Bathing: Reconnect to Nature
a photo of a snowy birch forest

Wake up your senses and reconnect to the natural world through Forest Bathing. (photo: Robert Thomson)

You won’t need a towel for this bath! Forest Bathing is gaining popularity in the US after being practiced in Japan for decades. Through yoga poses, deep breathing, and quiet sensory observations, our revitalizing Forest Bathing mornings will help you manage your stress during this busy time of the year. Gentle rambles around the trails and hidden courtyards of the Harris Center will wake up your senses and give you a chance to reconnect to the natural world and to yourself.

This course meets on Wednesdays, February 14 & 21 and March 7 & 14, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Harris Center.

Cost: $40 for Harris Center members / $60 for non-members

Instructors: Marilyn Wyzga and Susie Spikol Faber have been Forest Bathing since before they could walk.

Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Sara LeFebvre at (603) 525-3394 or lefebvre@harriscenter.org.


Wild to Domestic: A Canine’s Tale
a photo of a fox walking through the snow

Explore the evolution of wild canines in this doggone good reading group. (photo: Dale Bohlke)

Explore the evolution of wild canids into domestic companions in this reading and discussion group, led by Susie Spikol Faber. Readings will include such doggedly good writers as Barry Lopez, Mary Oliver, Willie Morris, Alexandra Horowitz, and Susannah Charleson. Class will conclude with a visit from Elizabeth Marshall Thomas discussing her groundbreaking book, The Hidden Lives of Dogs. Co-sponsored by the Harris Center and the Peterborough Town Library.

This group meets on Wednesdays, April 4, 11, and 18, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Peterborough Town Library.

Cost: Free of charge

Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Sara LeFebvre at (603) 525-3394 or lefebvre@harriscenter.org.