Harvey Webster to speak at LEC’s International Darwin Day event


Lake Erie College invites one and all to celebrate International Darwin Day on Monday, February 13 with a presentation from Harvey B. Webster, Director of Wildlife Resources at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Webster’s presentation will take place at 7:00 p.m. in the Tracy H. Dickinson ’78 Lecture Hall located in Austin Hall of Science on the LEC campus. Snacks will be provided.

Though Darwin Day is technically on February 12, which was Darwin’s birthday, LEC’s event seeks to recognize the occasion by celebrating the beginnings of the theory of evolution and our understanding of the evolutionary process. The event is sponsored by the Pre-Medical Professions Club, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the Office of Student Life.

Webster is a naturalist, educator, wildlife biologist and conservationist as well as a lifelong museum enthusiast. His work seeks to raise awareness about the natural history of our region, connect people with nature and help inspire a conservation ethic. He currently serves as Director of Wildlife Resources at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and oversees the Ralph Perkins Wildlife Center and the Museum’s zoo of native wildlife, as well as the Wildlife Resource Center that fosters opportunities in education, behavioral research and conservation with live animals. In addition to his managerial duties, Mr. Webster presents educational programs on Ohio's eagles, raptors, natural history as well as promotes the Museum on regional media such as WCPN's Sound of Applause with Dee Perry. 

At the February 13 event, Webster will present “Birds, Buildings, Bridges, Barriers & Baseball,” a talk addressing how the built human landscape presents unique challenges and opportunities for birds. The description of Webster’s presentation is as follows: Nighthawks, gulls and Killdeer have successfully used gravel-topped flat building roofs as nesting habitat. Peregrine Falcons use skyscraper ledges and bridges to nest in the heart of our cities. Gulls and waterfowl use the warm water discharge from electric generating plants as roosting and feeding spots in the winter. On the other hand windows and lit buildings, wind turbines and communications towers as well as many other structures kill millions of birds passing through our cities every year. In this illustrated program we will explore the perils and possibilities for birds in the urban environment and how we can ameliorate the negative impacts.

According to its official website, the mission of International Darwin Day is to inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin.

Webster’s lecture at LEC is free and open to the public, and the speech will be preceded with a small scavenger hunt and accompanying prizes. For more information, contact Dr. Deborah Schulman, associate professor of biology and director of the Lake Erie College Honors Program, at dschulman@lec.edu.

For more information on International Darwin Day, visit http://darwinday.org/about/.

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