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Conservation of Endangered Species - Junior SPARK

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

We always hear about endangered species all over the world. What exactly is being done to protect these animals and their habitats? Most people do not realize it, but every endangered species has a recovery plan that maps the road to successfully increasing populations and saving habitats. Zoos are a huge part of these recovery plans by being a place for breeding and increasing public awareness of endangered species. In Rhode Island, the Roger Williams Park Zoo is involved in some very exciting conservation projects including the American burying beetle, the red wolf, African elephants and many others.

Learn what a Species Survival Plan is and be part of the solution! Spend a week living the life of a Roger Williams Park Zoo Conservation Program Coordinator and help with field research on some very special critters. Students will spend time at the Zoo and in the field learning about different methods of protecting endangered species and why biodiversity is so important.

For two days we will be on Brown’s campus learning the foundations of biodiversity, endangered species conservation, team building, meeting live animals and in-depth lessons on climate change and polar bear conservation.

One day will be spent touring the Zoo learning exactly what the Zoo's role is in local conservation projects like the Karner Blue Butterfly, American Burying Beetle, Timber Rattlesnake and New England Cottontail Rabbit.

The other two days will be spent at an Audubon wildlife refuge working with the Director of Conservation from the Roger Williams Park Zoo trapping for carrion beetles and taking a biodiversity survey of the area. Students will gain a better understanding of how we can determine the health of an ecosystem through these methods.

By the end of the week students will have a better understanding of what goes into protecting the biodiversity of our planet. They will have hands-on experience trapping for the American Burying Beetle and collect real data for the Natural History Survey. The week will provide a chance to learn about some conservation projects happening in New England and around the world.

Students should have a good understanding of how an ecosystem works and some general animal biology knowledge. But mostly they just need to come with a deep appreciation for all living life and a willingness to learn that every species has a purpose.

*This Junior SPARK course is designed for students, 12 years and older, who are currently in the 6th and 7th grades (entering 7th and 8th grades Fall 2014). Older students are encouraged to register for our Senior SPARK courses.