Wednesday, November 15, 2023
5:30 p.m.
Shaw Research Library & Zoom


This year’s series concludes on November 15 when Rodney Rowland presents Water Has a Memory: Sea Level Rise, Our Past, Our Future. Strawbery Banke Museum is confronting the impacts of and damage from sea level rise right now. The 10-acre campus incorporates the Puddle Dock neighborhood and is the lowest point in the city and just 150 yards from the Piscataqua River. The impacts are from both surface flooding caused by rainfall and groundwater intrusion from upwelling (the forcing up of the water table by, in this case, salt water.) This talk tells the story of the work to protect this historic site while we look to our past to help influence our future.

Rodney Rowland is Director of Facilities and Environmental Sustainability for Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, Hampshire. He has worked for over 30 years at this important historic site, working to strengthen its mission and ensure a sustainable future. Since 2012, Rowland has been in charge of a large resiliency project at the museum. The Sea Level Rise Initiative seeks to protect the very fabric the museum used to teach 500 years of history and ensure that the lessons learned and the work done is broadly understood and generalizable to the seacoast area.

The lecture series continues to celebrate our city’s significant anniversaries in Portsmouth’s quadricentennial year. This year, the talks shine a light on Portsmouth’s commerce over 400 years, the historic interiors of those who lived here, and finally, the impact of climate change as evidenced at Strawbery Banke.

Each program begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Shaw Research Library of the Portsmouth Athenaeum at 9 Market Square in Portsmouth, NH (unless otherwise noted). Reservations for each program are required as seating is limited. Please call (603) 431-2538 to reserve. If unable to keep a reservation, please call again to release the seat for someone else. If you are interested in attending virtually, please e-mail

Attendance at programs is free for Athenaeum Proprietors, Subscribers and Friends. Guests and members of the public are welcome to attend the entire series by becoming a Friend of the Athenaeum for as little as $25 per year, payable at the door. Admission to an individual program is $10.

Every presenter in this year’s lecture series is a Proprietor of the Portsmouth Athenaeum, suggesting the breadth of knowledge and interest in its dissemination that characterizes Athenaeum members. Each lecturer looks forward to engaging our audience with their knowledge.



Image: Courtesy photo.

For the complete 2023 Lecture Series, click the button.

Below is the Athenaeum Friend Application