On Friday, November 4th, a group of DCS students visited three environmental nonprofits: The Nature Conservancy, the Triangle Land Conservancy, and the Conservation Fund. This was followed by a pair of visits, on February 10th and 17th, to Audubon North Carolina and the Eno River Association, respectively. Each of these visits was designed to give students a glimpse of what it’s like to work for an environmental NGO, to connect them with environmental professionals, and to let them know about career opportunities with each of these organizations. While there are other opportunities to meet conservation professionals at Duke, there are few chances to observe them in their natural habitats. This was a great way to help students imagine what it would actually be like to work at this kind of organization. Plus we all had a lot of fun!
DCS held a viewing of the film Red Wolf Revival in November presented by Christian Hunt, Southeast Program Associate for Defenders of Wildlife. The 2015 film covered the reintroduction of red wolves in Eastern North Carolina giving the Nicholas students insight into story of one of the most endangered predators in the world. Christian provided an update to the status of the declining red wolf population and answered questions from the students.
DCS was lucky to partner with Creation Matters of Duke’s Divinity School and to host a dinner seminar at the Divinity School Cafe. Dr. Saskia Cornes of the Duke Campus Farm and Dr. Norman Wirzba of the Divinity School spoke on the intersection of conservation, urban agriculture, and Christianity. After dinner, students from both schools worked together to brainstorm and draw out ideas for the Divinity School’s new rooftop garden!
DCS visited the Duke Lemur Center to learn about the conservation of lemurs. The lemurs are from Madagascar. We saw a variety of wonderful species such as the dancing Coquerel’s Sifaka, the tiny Fat-tailed Dwarf Lemur, and the active Ring-tailed Lemur. We learnt a lot about their diet and their daily behavior. (Photo Credits to Nathan and Priya.)
DCS partnered with African Environment Initiative to host a film screening of National Geographic’s Explorer Episode: Warlords of Ivory. Thanks to Duke’s Africa Initiative for sponsoring our yummy reception from the Palace International!
The film featured journalist Bryan Christy, who investigating ties between illegal poaching and the ivory trade to some of Africa’s most dangerous militias and terrorist groups. He plants fake ivory tusks with GPS trackers into the black market system to see the path of illegal ivory trafficking in Central Africa. Check out the trailer here!
And a big thank you to Dr. Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology and Dr. Richard Carroll, former Director of Africa Programs at the World Wildlife Fund for a great panel discussion after the film!
On October 16, Duke Conservation Society took a group of students to the Carolina Tiger Rescue Center for a Twilight Tour. It was amazing to get up close and personal with these majestic species of big cats. We learned about some of the sad stories of how these animals ended up far from home and in many unfortunate cases exploited by people.
The Tiger Rescue Center aims to give these rescued cats a better home, educate the public, and promote conservation of big cats in the wild. To find out more visit carolinatigerrescue.org
Photo credit: Nathan Walker
Our annual Fall International MEM/PhD was a big hit! We had an excellent lineup of 9 student speakers who have done conservation work all over the globe– from Madagascar to Mexico, from India to Spain. Their lightning talks introduced the group to a wide variety of conservation issues and facilitated engaging discussions over Mediterranean food and international brews!
Photo credit: Dave Grace
On September 4th, DCS visited the Duke University Lemur Center! The Lemurs Live! tour was a great learning experience about the challenges that the various species of lemurs face in Madagascar as well as more general conservation efforts happening on-the-ground. Did you know that a number of the Center’s lemurs are able to roam freely in its 85 acres of forest enclosures?
Student participants got to get up close and personal with some furry friends, including the descendants of Zaboomafoo. And we got to hear some lemur alarm calls when a hawk flew overhead–Way cool!
Photo credit: Emily Mills
Duke Conservation Society is excited to kick off another year of amazing events! We aim to bring together undergraduate, MEM, and PhD students, faculty, and alumni of the Nicholas School of the Environment and other departments at Duke University, to discuss issues related to the conservation of our natural world and its wild places and inhabitants.
Stay tuned for updates to the Events page for Fall 2016 upcoming events!
We also want to extend a big welcome to our two new First Year Representatives: Madeleine McMillan and Shane O’Neal!
As this academic year comes to an end, so does the DCS Leadership 2015-16. We worked hard to make DCS an active student based society by hosting a variety of events that engaged undergraduates, MEM and PhD students at the Nicholas School. From lectures focussing on interdisciplinary approaches to conservation, fun world map activity that got Nicholas School talking to networking lunches with professionals and volunteer activities with local NGOS, we are proud to have been a part of DCS.
Please refer to the Events section to know about more events from last year.
We wish the new board the very best in the coming year!