Laelaps

So many lectures, so little time…

I try to visit the AMNH in New York City as often as I can, but it looks like I’ll be making a few extra trips this coming November. While the exhibits alone are worth a visit, the museum often plays host to various scientists and authors as well, and it appears that they’ll be running at least three public talks next month focusing on conservation and extinction.

On November 13th, David S. Wilcove from Princeton University will be speaking about his book (just released this week) No Way Home which covers animal migrations and the pressures they’re facing from human activities. While I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, the topic is one of great interest to me and reminds me of the famous book Cry of the Kalahari which detailed the massive amounts of Wildebeest that died on farm fences during their annual migration in the latter chapters.

,p>On November 20th big cat conservation specialist Alan Rabinowitz will detail his experiences creating a tiger preserve in Myanmar (which have also proven to be that basis for a new book by Rabinowitz Life in the Valley of Death). It was Rabinowitz’s work with the Jaguar (Panthera onca) that first caught my attention, however, and if you’re interested in big cats at all his earlier work Jaguar is a must-read.

Paleontologist Michael Novacek will also be delivering a lecture on November 28 dealing with past extinctions and future conservation, themes that he has woven together into his forthcoming book Terra. If you’re interested in extinction but can’t wait for the books (or can’t get to the lecture), I would highly recommend David Raup’s Extinction: Bad Genes of Bad Luck? and Richard Ellis’ No Turning Back to start with.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to be present at all of these events (train and subway prices can be prohibitively expensive), but hopefully I’ll be able to attend at least one, although I don’t know how I’ll be able to choose which one I’d rather attend.