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Betsy Colburn




Dr. Betsy A. Colburn

Aquatic Ecologist

Harvard Forest
P.O. Box 68
Petersham, MA 01366
978-724-3302 x 280
978-724-3595 fax

Betsy Colburn is the author of Vernal Pools: Natural History and Conservation.

Colburn developed her interest in the ecology of fresh waters early in life. She spent much of her childhood exploring ponds and streams near Wellesley College and the Charles River in eastern Massachusetts. She pursued undergraduate studies in biology at Brown University and Occidental College and decided to pursue a career in freshwater conservation. Her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, involved masters research on snails of river floodplains in Wisconsin and a doctoral dissertation on aquatic insects' adaptations to life in desert springs and streams in Death Valley, CA.

After teaching at Williams College (MA) for four years, Colburn joined the scientific staff of the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1983 as aquatic ecologist. A major part of her work there focused on inventorying the freshwater biodiversity of the state and carrying out research and education on the ecology and protection of vernal pools. In 2001, she joined Harvard Forest, first as a Bullard Fellow and now as aquatic ecologist. She continues her research on the aquatic life of vernal pools, headwater streams, and kettle ponds, and remains committed to public education and outreach directed toward conservation of freshwater life.

Dr. Colburn is available for lectures and book signings.


1. Vernal Pools.
2. Headwater Streams.


1. For speaking engagements, the author requests reimbursement for travel expenses.
2. An honorarium is appreciated whenever possible.
3. Invitations to speak should be extended to the visiting author.
4. The author's book published by McDonald & Woodward will be available on site, either through the visiting author or the sponsoring organization; contact us at 1-800-233-8787 for further information about buying our books.