The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is announcing the first-ever expansion of the Conservation Leadership Lecture Series for 2014, generously sponsored by Florida Crystals Corporation. In the second lecture in the series, “An Evening with Carlton Ward, Jr.,” guests will hear from native Floridian and environmental photojournalist Carlton Ward, Jr., on Thursday, April 10, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Zoo’s Tropics Café. Because of the series’ popularity, the Zoo is adding a third lecture in the series for the first time ever. The third lecture will occur on Thursday, June 12, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., also in the Zoo’s Tropics Café, titled “Florida Panther Habitat Conservation and Connectivity.” The third lecture will feature conservation biologist, Richard A. Hilsenbeck, Ph.D. Guests are invited to enjoy cocktails and Zoo animal encounters before each lecture presentation begins, from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
In “An Evening with Carlton Ward, Jr.,” Ward will discuss his passion for nature, which was born from the Florida landscape where eight generations of family history have grounded his perspective. For his first book, “The Edge of Africa,” Ward spent eight months in the tropical rain forests of Gabon with the Smithsonian Institution documenting the region’s unseen and undiscovered biological diversity. The photographs were exhibited in Gabon, London and at a United Nations reception in New York. Carlton’s work documenting endangered desert elephants in Mali was on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine and comprised a chapter in the National Geographic book, “Great Migrations.”
Ward’s current focus is the Florida Wildlife Corridor Initiative, which he co-established in 2010. In 2012, he co-led the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition—a 100-day, 1000-mile trek from the Everglades to Okefenokee, to raise awareness for the opportunities to protect a corridor of connected lands and waters throughout the Florida peninsula.
Members of the media are invited to interview Ward one-on-one by appointment only on Thursday, April 10, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“Our three-part lecture series has highlighted sustainable development in wildlife sensitive areas, like Babcock Ranch in the middle of panther country, and will later look at the assembly of conservation land throughout south Florida through the Nature Conservancy,” said Andrew Aiken, President & CEO for the Zoo. “But our upcoming leadership lecture with photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. is perhaps the most emotionally-uplifting moment in this year’s series.”
“Ward’s photographs and his Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition story are an absolute inspiration to anyone even remotely interested in nature,” Aiken continued. “His work simply takes us to a timeless place we all seek – even if just for a moment – of wild and natural beauty, something we all deeply aspire to preserve right here in our state. Don’t miss it!”
In “Florida Panther Habitat Conservation and Connectivity,” guests will hear from Dr. Hilsenbeck, who has more than 35 years of experience in conservation biology, including nearly 23 years with The Nature Conservancy (TNC). He is currently Director of Conservation Projects for the Florida Chapter of TNC and has statewide responsibilities for project initiation, design and implementation. He is the author/co-author of more than 60 Preservation 2000, Save Our Rivers and Florida Forever projects, with many focused on the conservation of Florida’s ranch and timberlands. Dr. Hilsenbeck is considered an expert in the area of conservation easements, ecological assessments and descriptive ecology of Florida’s natural communities. He has primary responsibility within TNC for land acquisition issues before the state’s Acquisition and Restoration Council and has been successful in guiding scores of projects through the State of Florida’s initial land acquisition process. He is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles published in scientific journals, chapters in several books, as well as numerous technical reports to private, state and federal agencies.
Seating for the Conservation Leadership Lecture Series is limited. Tickets are $20.00 per person per event. Cocktails & passed hors d'oeuvres will be served. To purchase your tickets online, visit www.palmbeachzoo.org. If you have any questions about the event, please call the Zoo, at (561) 547-WILD ext. 285.