Eco Hike: Insect Gall Hunt


$20.00 per person



About this experience

Join our Deputy Director of Ecology, Elijah Goodwin, on a winter walk to search for plant galls. Plants create galls when an insect lays its eggs in the plant, and the gall structure becomes both food and shelter for the growing insect. Different species of insects cause the plants to make different shapes and sizes of galls. During the walk we will talk about the emerging and fascinating science of galls and our project to document this and other insect diversity across our landscape. You will have a chance to collect some galls to contribute to the Stone Barns Center gall project and participate in science that has the potential to reveal new information about the world around us. Be prepared for some short trips off-trail. This is a great winter scavenger hunt opportunity for families.

Accessibility Guidelines: This hour-long activity will include walking over varied topography. Please wear good walking shoes that you don't mind getting dirty, as well as long sleeves and pants. Children are permitted to join (ages 12 and older require a ticket), but please keep in mind that we will be walking through brush, over uneven terrain, and possibly into muddy or snowy patches.

Unless otherwise noted, all Stone Barns Center programs take place rain or shine! We have a 72-hour cancellation policy for all tickets. For a refund, please contact us 72 hours prior to your visit at

Your Host

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Elijah Goodwin is the Deputy Director of Ecology at Stone Barns Center. He joined us in 2019 to monitor bird populations on the pastured grasslands of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. Since joining Stone Barns Center, Elijah has been instrumental in building the organization's ecological monitoring program.

Elijah brings over 25 years of experience as a research scientist and educator. While his primary training is as an ornithologist, he also has experience working with soil, plant communities, and DNA technology. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an M.S.T in Biology Education from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, also from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Elijah is also an award-winning nature and night/light painting photographer and owns a small photography, education, and ecological consulting business, Whimbrel Nature. He has served as president and a board member for the Color Camera Club of Westchester and is a science advisor for ⅔ For The Birds.