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Gillespie Museum Launches Fall Science Café Series with Talk on Avian Conservation

Stetson University’s Gillespie Museum will host visiting scholar Nury Stella Penagos for the Science Café presentation, “Your Birds Are Our Birds Too: Avian Conservation in Colombia.”

The Science Café will take place Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m., in the Gillespie Museum, 234 E. Michigan Ave., DeLand, Fla. The free event is open to the public. For more information or to register call 386.822.7330.

Visiting scholar Nury Stella Penagos teaches in Bogota, Colombia.

Penagos, a K-12 educator in Bogota, Colombia, has inspired children to learn about nature and their relationship to a world beyond the Andes Mountains. Her education program, “Our Birds are Your Birds Too,” links classrooms in Bogota and the U.S., enabling students to share their experiences through conversations about migratory birds found in both areas. Blue Lake Elementary in Volusia County was a participant in the program.

This event is co-sponsored by the Partners of the Americas and Stetson’s Department of Environmental Science and Studies.

“This program connecting children across the Americas through shared values of environmental conservation and awareness is an amazing approach to environmental education,” said Tony Abbott, Ph.D., professor of environmental science and studies at Stetson University who helped to organize the visit to DeLand. “Penagos designed a program that is especially rich for its ability to bring people together across cultures to recognize shared experiences with the natural world.”

Penagos’ education program has led to projects such as “A Little Bird Told Me” and “Tyguas, Guardians of the Birds in Usme.” She has presented insights from her work in international venues, including Morocco, Argentina, Brazil and the U.S.

“I have greatly enjoyed training Colombian students in the appreciation and conservation of migratory bird species, sharing knowledge and experiences with their friends in the U.S.,” said Penagos, who has been an active member and leader in the international cultural exchange network, Partners for the Americas, for nearly a decade.

Two additional Science Café’s this fall will feature geologists, in connection with a new museum exhibit, Florida Formations. On Oct. 26, environmental geologist Ben Tanner, Ph. D., assistant professor of environmental science and studies at Stetson will present “Sea Level: Past, Present & Future Change.”

On Nov. 16, Harley Means, Florida Geological Survey, will present “Florida’s Geological Formations.”

The Gillespie Museum’s Science Cafés promote scientific literacy by encouraging relaxed, open discussions among scientists and nonscientists of all ages. For more information about Stetson’s Science Café series, contact Cole at kcole@stetson.edu or visit the museum website at www.stetson.edu/gillespie.

-Heather Hunter

 

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