Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
CONTACT: Patrician Price, 904-823-4506

~The lecture provides a great opportunity to learn more about human-wildlife interactions~

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve), in collaboration with the Marineland Dolphin Adventure, invites the public to a free lecture, "The Complex Wildlife Trade," on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 10-11 a.m. at the new lecture location, Marineland Dolphin Adventure. 

As human populations expand, technology advances and the world is developed, human-wildlife interactions become more frequent and complex. White Oak, a 10,000-acre conservation center in Northeast Florida, will be represented by Brandon Speeg, director of conservation education and Lauren Watkins, environmental educator and interpreter, in this lecture on harmful human-wildlife interactions that negatively impact some of the species that call White Oak home.

Speeg will examine the illegal wildlife trade focusing on the current poaching crisis threatening the world’s rhino species and his work with an endangered primate, and the black market pet trade. Watkins will focus on two White Oak flagship species, the cheetah and Florida panther. Both of these carnivores encounter similar threats from negative human-wildlife interactions on two different continents. 

Brandon Speeg works at White Oak to advance conservation literacy and inspire conservation action. He attended Bowling Green State University and completed his Bachelor of Science in biology and went on to gain his Master of Science at Wright State University. He is an alumnus of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program, and has traveled to Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East in support of conservation initiatives.
Lauren Watkins spent five years working for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with a one-year stint at the GTM Research Reserve. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, a Master of Science in natural resource management and environmental science and is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. 

This program is one of an ongoing Third-Tuesday-of-the-Month lecture series designed to help inform the public about their natural world. These events are free, so space is limited. Reservations can be made online here or call 904-823-4500 for more information.

Please arrive at the Marineland Dolphin Adventure Gift Shop by 9:45 a.m. to receive a wristband for free admission to Marineland to enjoy the park afterwards.

WHAT:   Lecture: "The Complex Wildlife Trade"

WHEN:   Tuesday, Nov. 17
              10 - 11 a.m.

WHERE:  Marineland Dolphin Adventure
              9600 Ocean Shore Blvd.
              St. Augustine, FL 32080