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Wednesdays | 7 p.m.

Journey with Smithsonian scientists and other conservation professionals as they travel the globe to study and protect species and ecosystems. Share in their adventures during these free science lecture series. The series is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so arrive early.

Upcoming Lectures

April 4 | "The Ecology and Management of Canis in the Southeast," speaker: Joseph Hinton, post-doctoral researcher, University of Georgia

Joseph Hinton is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. His dissertation research focused on the ecology and interactions of red wolves and coyotes, and ecological conditions facilitating hybridization between the two. His current postdoctoral research includes assessing the effects of anthropogenic mortality on the endangered red wolf population and a large regional study on the ecology of coyotes in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

April 11| "Promoting the Research and Conservation of Tapirs throughout Brazil," speaker: Patricia Medici, conservation biologist, Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative

The Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative is a long-term, nationwide conservation effort led by Brazilian conservation biologist Dr. Patrícia Medici. The LTCI gathers high-quality scientific data and information to substantiate the development and implementation of biome-based conservation action plans for tapirs and their habitat in Brazil. The LTCI uses tapirs as ambassadors for the conservation of the Brazilian biomes where they occur, catalyzing habitat conservation, environmental education, outreach, awareness, training and capacity-building, as well as scientific tourism initiatives. Dr. Medici has received numerous awards and accolades for her work, including the 2014 TED Fellowship Program and the Columbus Zoo Commitment to Conservation Award in 2017.

April 18 | "Conserving the Last of Guam's Iconic Birds," speaker: Erica Royer, animal keeper, SCBI's Center for Species Survival

After World War II, the people of Guam began to notice the disappearance of native wildlife. Most notably was the deafening silence of the Guam forests, as there were no longer any birds left to sing. The culprit was finally identified as the invasive brown tree snake, which had already effectively eliminated nine of the 12 species of native forest birds, in addition to decimating bat populations. Erica Royer will highlight the conservation efforts and status of the Guam rail bird and how the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has been involved in bringing back this iconic species since the inception of the recovery program in the 1980s.

April 25 | "The Role of Highly Interactive Species to Ecosystem Health," speaker: Brian Miller, wildlife biologist, Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge

When it comes to endangered species, how should we define “recovery"? Does recovery mean simply the presence of the species, or do we want it to mean there are sufficient numbers spread over a large portion of the original range, allowing the species to perform its ecological function? Using restoration at the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge as an example, Dr. Brian Miller will discuss ecological interactions that spread far beyond the species directly involved in recovery efforts.

Additional Details:

The SMSC Dining Hall will be open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on lecture dates. Lecture guests will be offered a special price of $10 per person. If you plan to attend dinner, please RSVP to


Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Dining Hall
1500 Remount Road
Front Royal, VA 22630

Please note: pets are not allowed on SCBI property.


Directions from the east:

Take I-66 west to the Linden/Front Royal exit #13
At end of ramp, turn left, under freeway to stoplight at Route 55
Turn right (west) on Route 55 and travel five miles into Front Royal
Turn left at signal, Route 522/Remount Road
Drive approximately 2 miles and take a left into Gate 2 and follow event parking signs

Directions from Rappahannock:

From US 211 take 522 north ~ 12 miles
Turn right into Gate 2 and follow event parking signs