Natural History in Montgomery County


Request one of the following Speakers Bureau topics through our online form!

Questions? Contact Matthew Gagle or call 301-340-2825. 

*NEW*Conserving Monarch Butterflies in Your Own Backyard”

Speaker: Clarence Hickey

The east monarch butterfly population has experienced a significant population reduction in recent years, due in part to the decrease in the amount of milkweed available as a food source. In this fascinating intersection of human and natural history, learn how Clarence Hickey planted common native milkweed in his yard to aid migrating and reproducing Maryland monarchs, and how he raised monarch caterpillars in his home and then released them into the wild.

*NEW* “Potomac, a History of the River and the Land”

Speaker: Jim Johnston

The Potomac River, the dominant geological feature of Montgomery County, has also played a dominant role in American history. It was the first interstate waterway in North America, the spawning ground for the Constitution, and a protective barrier in the Civil War. To travelers today, it is a time tunnel to 250 million years of history. Learn this history from Jim Johnston and then walk along the river yourself to see the Potomac in a new way.



*NEW* “Periodical Cicadas in 2021: An Intersection of Natural History and Human History”

Speaker: Clarence “Corky” Hickey

Montgomery County has some lesser known, yet very numerous, native residents: the 17-year periodical cicadas that visited us with great gusto in 1987 and 2004. The reappearance of the periodicals every 17 years suggests a certain measure of stability in our local environment, a natural sign for us. As these cicadas offer a unique opportunity for observing and studying nature in our own backyards, this presentation will demonstrate the intersection of cicada natural history and human history as we look ahead to the spring of 2021, when we expect to welcome these native Montgomery Countians back to our neighborhoods.