80 Years of the Nature Lab

We are turning 80 and we will spend the whole year celebrating our past and future!

Join us in a year-long celebration with workshops, lectures, exhibitions, field trips and conversation around how it all began and what we plan for the future.

Upcoming events

Patterns Inconceivable : the History and Influence of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab


Combining collections from the Nature Lab with records from RISD’s Archives, this exhibition traces Edna Lawrence’s development of the Lab, from her idiosyncratic acquisition records to her extensive travels. More information on this exhibition here.

September 07
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Fleet Library

Hand-on workshops during RISD Weekend


  • Field Sketching Wildlife at the Nature Lab with Amy Bartlett-Wright
  • Urban Nature Walk with botanist Hope Leeson and enthomologist Ben Gagliardi
  • Exploring Biodesign with Neal Overstrom and Jenn Bissonnette
  • Live Animal Study with Laurelin Sitterly

To see detailed schedule and register visit: RISD Weekend's website

October 06
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Nature Lab

Liat Margolis Keynote Presentation


Data-Driven Landscapes: Research into Green Roof Performance

Environmental performance has become a fundamental principle of urban design. But how do we know how well green designs and practices perform over time? Research shows that in many cases there is a gap between intended and actual performance. Architect and educator Liat Margolis 96 ID shares new empirical research developed at the University of Toronto’s Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (GRIT Lab) that bridges this gap.

October 06
6:00 pm
Metcalf Auditorium

Wonder: Nature Lab 80th Anniversary + Exhibition Opening


As part of RISD Weekend's celebrations we will host an open house, reception and exhibition opening at the Nature Lab. The RISD community is invited to visit the Nature Lab and learn more about our new spaces and upcoming projects!

October 07
4:30 pm
Nature Lab

Eating with the Ecosystem


This day starts with a beautiful and educational coastal walk led by Nature Lab Biological Programs Designer Jennifer Bissonnette and sustainable fisheries expert Kate Masury. Lunch will follow at 12:30 with a menu specifically designed to be in-tune with our local ecosystem. Shuttle departs the Chace Center on North Main Street at 10:15 am. To register visit RISD Weekend's website

October 08
11:00 am
Tillinghast Farm

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