Niabi Zoo, Coal Valley, will launch a series of lectures on conservation, ecology, biology and zoology that will continue throughout the year.
The first three lectures will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, as well as Wednesday Feb. 21, and Thursday, March 1, at the Niabi Zoo educational center.
The series will include speakers in direct contact with people and topics of importance to understanding of the natural world.
Niabi Zoo members, zoo volunteers and students (with valid college identification may attend free. An $8 fee per lecture will be charged to everyone else. Parking will be free.
Space is limited to 45 people per lecture. Those interested in attending should register at www.NiabiZoo.com/Education-Programs/ConservationScienceSpeaker or call 309-799-3482, extension 222.
Here's the schedule:
Thursday: "Fading into Night: The current state of bats in the upper Midwest," by Gerald Zuercher, Ph.D., University of Dubuque. He has a bachelor's degree in biology from Mississippi State University; a master's in in biology from the University of Alaska and a doctoral degree in biology from Kansas State University. As professor of vertebrate ecology at the University of Dubuque for the past 15 years, he has studied small mammals in Alaska, captive chimpanzees at Sunset Zoo in Kansas, carnivores and fish in Paraguay, turtles in the Mississippi River, flying squirrels in eastern Iowa and bats in the upper Midwest.
Feb. 21: "Attract, Observe and Understand Pollinators," Martha A. Smith – University of Illinois Extension. Smith has been with University of Illinois Extension since 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois in ornamental horticulture and a master’s degree in adult education from Western Illinois University. She is a member of the Perennial Plant Association, Illinois Green Industry Association, North America Rock Garden Society, American Conifer Society and is a certified arborist. Her current responsibilities serve Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Stark counties in Illinois as horticulture educator. She coordinates and teaches both the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist training in her unit and offers various programs across the state.
March 1: "The Gran Chaco of Paraguay: An Animal Paradise at Risk," Juan Manuel Campos Krauer, Ph.D. Krauer is an assistant professor for the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences & Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation at the University of Florida. He specializes in wildlife health and conservation, emerging zoonotic diseases, veterinary parasitology, vector-borne diseases, wildlife ecology, historical biogeography, phylogeography and biodiversity and invasive species.