2013-09-26 / News

Lecture at URI about endangered species

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 3, followed by the first presentation in its annual lecture series. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in Swan Hall at the University of Rhode Island, with the lecture beginning two hours later.

Both the meeting and lecture are free and open to the public.

The first lecture will feature Jonathan Atwood, adjunct professor at Antioch University of New England. He discussion is titled, “The California Gnatcatcher: Lessons for Integrating Coastal Shrubland Science and Conservation Policy.”

According to Atwood, the protections afforded to species by the U.S. Endangered Species Act have proved effective tools for accomplishing land protection. Yet present ecological, political and economic conditions have necessitated a change in methodologies in order to accomplish conservation goals at the species level.

Atwood will discuss lessons learned from a two-decade battle over an endangered songbird and its habitat. He will evaluate how efforts to conserve the California gnatcatcher have succeeded – or failed – to protect an endangered coastal ecosystem now faced with the complex challenges of climate change.

The second lecture will be a discussion led by URI professor and wildlife ecologist, Scott McWilliams. Other speakers in the series are Tim Boland, director of the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha’s Vineyard; Eric Dinerstein, vice president for conservation science at the World Wildlife Fund; David Blockstein, senior scientist at the National Council for Science and the Environment; and Phil Edwards of the state Department of Environmental Management.

Return to top