Wildlife Education Series

The Wildlife Education Series is a monthly educational discussion covering a wide range of topics pertaining to Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Animal Behavior, Veterinary and Conservation Sciences held at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. The format of the seminars will vary based on the topic and speaker, from lecture to problem based learning, and will be geared to inquisitive individuals who are eager to learn and ask questions.

Students: Free with i.d
Members: $8
Non-members: $10

Wildlife Education Series Dates
January 10th – New Insights into the Biology of the White Shark
February 7th – Narragansett Bay Coyote Study
March 7th – Data-logging Loggerheads – A Story About Sea Turtles in the Greater Atlantic Region

New Insights Into the Biology of the White Shark

The number of white sharks has been rising in recent years off the coast of Cape Cod in response to dramatic increases in seal abundance. Much of these sightings are in close proximity to popular swimming and surfing beaches.  To better understand the movement ecology, behavior, natural history, and population dynamics of this species in the Atlantic, the Massachusetts Shark Research Program has tagged more than 150 white sharks off the east coast of the US since 2009. This presentation will focus on our findings to date.

Dr. Gregory Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, photographer, and author.  As a senior scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, he has been studying sharks for over 30 years. He has written numerous scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS.



Narragansett Bay Coyote Study

Coyotes are a relatively new but now permanent addition to Rhode Island. For cultural, ecological, and practical reasons it is undesirable (and likely impossible) to remove them. Through study of their ecology, we can manage negative effects of coyotes’ presence in a way that brings ecological benefits and long-term co-existence. Dr. Mitchell will present the science of coyotes she’s learned from over 10 years of research in Rhode Island and look forward to new research directions in coming years.

Numi is a biologist specializing in the study of resource and habitat use by wildlife. She usually troubleshoots endangered species problems – this is her first project in which management issues concern a species that is too successful – an interesting challenge.


Data-logging loggerheads: A story about sea turtles in the Greater Atlantic Region

This talk will start with a short description of the types of sea turtles present in the Greater Atlantic Region (offshore of Maine through North Carolina).  Heather will discuss the types of data loggers that she and colleagues have placed on sea turtles in the region, focusing on a collaborative program that has placed more than 200 data loggers on loggerhead sea turtles.  Photographs and video of the tagging process and turtles at sea will be presented, and the resulting data and its contribution to our understanding of sea turtle behavior and distribution will be discussed.

Heather lives with her family in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  She received a Master’s Degree in Biological Science from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a PhD in Oceanography from Louisiana State University.  She has worked since 2003 as a Research Fisheries Biologist at the NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA.  Heather works together with a team of collaborators from federal agencies, academia, and non-governmental organizations to study sea turtle ecology in the Greater Atlantic Region.


All attendees will receive a 15% off certificate for Not Your Average Joe’s which can be redeemed on the evening of each lecture. nyaj_vertical