Buttonwood Park Zoo’s Virtual “Wildlife Education Series” is holding its second installment on Wednesday, April 28, at 7 pm. This educational program will showcase Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach, and Marissa Krouse, Program Manager for Polar Bears International (PBI). PBI is the only conservation organization solely dedicated to wild polar bears. Through research, education, and advocacy, they work to inspire people to care about the Arctic and its connection to our global climate.

Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach for PBI, has a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Animal Biology from Thompson Rivers University and an M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Alberta where her thesis focused on the polar bears of western Hudson Bay. She gained hands-on experience with polar bears from multiple fall and spring field seasons in Tuktoyaktuk and Churchill, and she has been heavily involved in the collaring and tracking of Hudson Bay polar bears. Prior to joining PBI’s staff, Alysa volunteered for several years in multiple capacities, including being a panelist on the Tundra Connections program and assisting with the Polar Bear Tracker. She is passionate about science education and polar bear conservation and is dedicated to ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy planet.

Marissa Krouse, Program Manager for PBI, has a B.A. in psychology with a focus on animal behavior. She worked in a zoo setting for nine years, specifically in the fields of conservation education and animal husbandry. Her role at PBI includes coordinating our Arctic Ambassador Center network, Education and Outreach campaigns, and leading our annual Climate Alliance training sessions for zoo staff, helping them to communicate effectively. She is the co-author of a Polar Bear Diet Trial publication in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (2014) and has published in the American Association of Zookeepers National Conference Proceedings (2010, 2011). Marissa is a motivated conservationist who values teamwork and is dedicated to helping others lead their communities. She believes in the legacy she will leave behind and works to leave a healthy planet for future generations.

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Buttonwood Park Zoo’s Education Curator, Carrie Hawthorne, has been collaborating with PBI since 2011, including traveling to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada where she has led leadership camps as recently as 2019. BPZOO’s team is currently working to create 'Science on a Sphere' datasets using PBI’s polar bear tracking data, showcasing their research with a global network of educators to connect the polar bear’s story to climate change.

The “Wildlife Education Series” will be held virtually, on Zoom, and is free to attend, but pre-registration is required. Donations are encouraged at the time of registration and will be shared with the speaker’s organization. For more information, please click HERE.

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