Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall Guided Birding Trips

The first of two opportunities to make a guided autumn birding trip with Center Executive Director Larry Richardson is coming up Saturday (September 27) so get your registration in today and plan to meet at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center at 6:30 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. carpool departure. Return time to the Center is 5:00 p.m. Registration is limited to 10 people for each trip and the fee is $5 per person. If you can't make it this Saturday, Larry will leading another fall birding trip on October 11(same times.) Read this WestShore Magazine profile for details on the credentials of your expert guide!

Here's how Larry describes the fall migration and these two trips... and note the disclaimers at the bottom:

Not too many years ago fall bird migration was a lonely experience. More and more birders have come to realize that fall migration of warblers, sparrows, shorebirds, raptors and waterfowl can be as spectacular as spring migration. Our two fall trips in September and October aim to capture as much of fall migration diversity as possible. These fall trips, like spring trips, can be astonishing or they can be as challenging as the changing weather.

Our destination will most likely be west to western basin Lake Erie marshes and shores, but we won’t know exactly until we size up bird reports, weather forecasts and develop our most likely itinerary for success. Bring a scope (I'll have mine), binoculars, clothing for all weather, snacks, drinks and lunch. Please register with the Center at 440-871-2900 no later than Thursday September 25th for either or both programs. Call the same number and direct questions to Larry.

Trip Leader's Disclaimer: The trip leader is not responsible for acts of God, earthquakes, hurricanes, fall blizzards or discomfort experienced by participants. Participants will likely need to endure gibberish and useless information. There will be a surcharge for the unlikelihood any actual facts are provided by the leader.

Guarantee: We will have fun and we will see birds. I look forward to another glorious day in the field (and that is a fact!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Miss Jenn's Expedition to Belize

Hi, Miss Jenn here!
I am very excited to
share with you an
amazing opportunity
I had
this summer!
Less than two months ago, I was hiking through a tropical rainforest searching for howler monkeys, snorkeling along the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, tracking the endangered Antillean manatee, going on a moonlight sea turtle walk, exploring the ruins of Altun Ha an ancient Mayan city, touring the "best little zoo in the world", and learning and laughing with Belizean teachers and students. All of these exciting, memorable “firsts” for me took place in the beautiful country of Belize. Referred to by Belizeans as “The Jewel”, this gem of a country lies on the eastern coastline of Central America, bordered on the north by Mexico, on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. Although Belize is only slightly larger than Massachusetts, the country formally known as British Honduras(until 1973), has more species of birds, butterflies, flowers, and trees than found in all of the United States!

It was thanks to Earth Expeditions that I, as a nature enthusiast, environmental educator, and traveler, was able to spend ten amazing days exploring, experiencing, and learning about the diverse ecosystems, important conservation projects, and fascinating cultures found in Belize.

Earth Expeditions, created in conjunction with Project Dragonfly at Miami University and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, is a global conservation program offering university courses in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Through Field and Zoo Expedition courses, the program’s mission is to build an alliance of individuals with firsthand knowledge of inquiry-driven, community-based learning for the benefit of ecological communities, student achievement, and global understanding. I was instantly attracted to Earth Expeditions because of the program’s inspiring mission, hands-on inquiry-driven format, extraordinary field locations and affiliations, interesting course themes, and talented faculty.

I was drawn to the Belize Field Expedition course
because I was interested in the forest and marine ecology-focused course themes and related conservation projects, and I have always wanted to experience a Neotropical country, climate, and culture firsthand. From the moment my plane began its flight path over Belize and all I could see out my window was a blanket of dark green bordered by aqua blue waters, I was overcome with the country’s beauty, exoticness, and uniqueness.

Every day, I was learning and experiencing something new, interesting, and rewarding. In addition to all the valuable knowledge and meaningful experiences I gained during the Expedition, I also came home with fresh ideas and perspectives, new friends and important contacts, and a better understanding of what it is I want to do and accomplish both professionally and personally. The trip got my creative juices flowing, and I am excited and inspired to incorporate my wonderful experiences into my teachings here at LENSC. In short, the Belize Field Expedition is synonymous with worthwhile. It was my time and money well spent!

Although the field component is over with, I still have three more months of coursework & class discussions via Dragonfly Workshops Web-based learning community. Upon completion in
December, I will receive 7 graduate credits from my alumna mater, Miami University, that can be counted towards the University’s new Global Field Program Master's Degree which I am planning on applying to come fall. Now, I just need to decide which Field Expedition I want to go on next summer…Kenya, Trinidad, Thailand…decisions, decisions(and an exciting one at that!) stay tuned!

If you have any questions about
Earth Expeditions and/or Miami
University’s Global Field Program,
please do not hesitate to contact
me at

For additional information on the programs and the field sites I visited in Belize, click on the above underlined words and/or visit the websites listed below:
Earth Expeditions:
Earth Expeditions –Belize: Forest & Marine Ecology:
Miami University’s Global Field Program:
The Belize Zoo:
The Community Baboon Sanctuary:
Gales Point Manatee Lodge:
Maya site, Altun Ha, information:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thank You for Supporting Survivor Mexico!

We're still totaling up the numbers, but by every measure so far, this year's Survivor Mexico Annual Benefit was a smashing success! Pictures from our South-of-the-border party and auction are posted here as well as in this week's WestLife and West Shore Sun newspapers. Check out even more photos in the Sun's online party photo album. Look for additional coverage in upcoming issues of West Shore Magazine and Currents. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the event, especially our Co-Chairs, Martha West, Marianna Orro and Alyssa Kamm, pictured with the mariachi trio and all of our generous donors and underwriters!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back In Business!

We look forward to welcoming our visitors, class and program participants back to Lake Erie Nature & Science Center today! Yes, the power and phone system are back on! We thank everyone for your patience and understanding during the outage. See you at the Center soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Power Outage Affects Center

For the second day in a row, the power outage affecting so many of our neighbors in Northeast Ohio continues to impact Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. We are at half power, with limited lighting, etc. that allows us to care for our animals. However, our phone system is down and so is the sewage system that would allow us to operate toilets, etc. For that reason, we were forced to close the Center and to cancel classes on Monday and Tuesday ... just as you and your little ones were looking forward to starting a new year of preschool classes!
Because our phones are down and we were not yet registered with the television stations for the upcoming winter cancellation season, our website is the key tool we have left to keep you updated on our power status. We are able to access our Website using a laptop and WiFi Internet connection at our Bay Village neighbor, Mojo's. Please know that the Center is committed to reopening as soon as full power is restored. We are making separate decisions to cancel classes in the a.m. and p.m., so even if morning classes are canceled, check the orange Homepage Alert Box at midday if you are an afternoon student.
We thank you for your patience, we hope you and your family are safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Center soon!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Huntington Beach Clean Up A Success!

About 25 volunteers of all ages answered Lake Erie Nature & Science Center's call to help clean and monitor the health of Huntington Beach in Bay Village. The Center is led an official adopt-a-Beach clean-up on Saturday, September 6. Carla Roth, who led the effort for the Center, guided volunteers in picking up garbage along the Lake Erie shoreline and counting and tallying the litter. The finished data will be sent to the Adopt-a-Beach program, which is spearheaded by the Chicago- based Alliance for the Great Lakes.
“The final tabulations compiled by Adopt-a-Beach officials will give us insight into how healthy our lakes are, and what else we can do to take action,” said Roth, Education Program & Administrative Specialist. Carla also waded in to Lake Erie to take water samples for some simple and sophisticated tests, including a screen for E coli bacteria.” Thanks to everyone who turned out!

Read more about the clean up in WestLife or in our online newsroom.