2020 Speaker Series presented by LCEC

Join us for the 2020 Speaker Series

proudly presented by

Click here to check out the brochure or scroll down for more information!

February 25: Wintering Shorebirds of Sanibel & Captiva March 3: Living with Burrowing Owls
March 10: Global Shark Conservation March 17: Shy Wolf Sanctuary: Reconnecting People & Wildlife Through Education*** 
March 24: The Story of Ospreys March 31: Lizards of Sanibel & Captiva***
April 7: Sea Turtles of Southwest Florida April 14: The Story of Ospreys

***These programs will feature Live Animal Encounters

Speaker Series Admission:
$10 per adult
$5 per 13-17 year old (teen)
Free for children 12 and under
All Programs begin at 4:15pm,
Check-in begins at 3:30pm
Speaker Series presented by LCEC events have been selling out! Advanced Registration is HIGHLY recommended!
To register, please contact:
Visitor Education Center
phone: (239) 472-3644, ext. #229

Program Descriptions    

March 3

Living with Burrowing Owls

Presented by Beverly Saltonstall, Volunteer for Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife

Cape Coral has the largest population of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia floridana) in Florida, with an estimated 1000 nesting pairs and an upwards of 2500 burrows within the city limits. While the owls are quite tolerant of humans, their homes are still being threatened. Come out to learn about their habitat and hunting characteristics so you can cohabitate with this remarkable species.

About the Speaker:

Beverly Saltonstall is a retired nurse who fell in love with Burrowing Owls when she moved to Cape Coral 15 years ago. Shortly after arriving she learned about the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife and has ever since been a volunteer and charter member.


March 10

Global Shark Conservation

Presented by Ryan Orgera, CEO for Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF)

Between 63 and 273 million sharks are killed annually--mostly for their fins. Sharks from Florida end up in Asian fin markets, and our local fisheries and ecosystems depend on healthy shark populations. Ryan will explain the major threats to sharks globally.

About the Speaker:

Before starting with SCCF, Ryan worked on the Ending Illegal Fishing Project and Global Shark Conservation teams with The Pew Charitable Trusts. He traveled extensively to institute meaningful conservation measures in African and Latin American nations, as well as within various United Nations conventions, most notably the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora. During his time with Pew, Ryan helped ensure global protections for thirteen species of sharks and rays. Ryan is currently a member of the Federal Marine Protected Area Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Secretaries of Commerce and Interior.


March 17

Shy Wolf Sanctuary: Reconnecting People and Wildlife Through Education

Presented by Theresa Schultz, Education Coordinator for the Shy Wolf Sanctuary

Shy Wolf Sanctuary provides refuge and rehabilitation to non-releasable wild and captive-bred exotic canines, including wolves and wolfdogs. Their team works diligently to share the message of the preserving wolves in natural ecosystems, respecting wild and captive-bred exotics and encouraging coexistence with wildlife.

About the Speaker:

Theresa and her husband, Jay, moved from Pennsylvania to Bonita Springs. She discovered Shy Wolf Sanctuary about 10 years ago and began to learn about the animals through frequent visits. After some time, the founder, Nancy Smith, told Theresa she needed to start volunteering and she has never looked back!


March 24 & April 14

The Story of Ospreys

Presented by Claudia Burns, Volunteer for International Osprey Foundation

Ospreys are large brown and white raptors who breed in Southwest Florida from December through April and can be seen diving for live fish in shallow waters throughout the area. Because they build their nests right out in the open, their behavior is easy to observe, but not always easy to understand. This presentation uses photos, videos and recorded vocalizations to explain osprey behavior.

About the Speaker:

Sanibel resident Claudia Burns has been a Nestwatch Volunteer for the International Osprey Foundation for more than 20 years. In the past she has partnered with Bird Westall to deliver this presentation at both the "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge and CROW.  


March 31

Lizards of Sanibel & Captiva

Presented by Chris Lechowicz, Director of Habitat Management & Herpetologist for Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF)

This lecture will focus on the lizard species, both native and nan-native, commonly found on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It will also be explained why exotic lizards are more numerous than native species, their introduction methods as well as population control efforts.

About the Speaker:

Chris grew up with a passion for amphibians and reptiles which led him into a career in biology. Chris is the Director of the Wildlife & Habitat Management Program and staff herpetologist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation where he has worked for the last 14 years. His current research projects on the islands involve eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi), diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin), and Florida box turtles (Terrapene carolina bauri) in Pine Island Sound. Chris is also the coauthor of the book Amphibians and Reptiles of Sanibel & Captiva Islands: A Natural History.


April 7

Sea Turtles of Southwest Florida

Presented by Kelly Sloan, Sea Turtle Program Coordinator for Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF)

Sea turtle monitoring on Sanibel originated in the late 1950’s with Charles Lebuff and Caretta Research, Inc., making it one of the longest running monitoring programs in the country. This endeavor was transferred to the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in 1992, and their team of staff and volunteers now survey 18 miles of beach, from the Sanibel lighthouse to Blind Pass, every morning from April through October. This presentation will discuss the habits of Sanibel and Captiva’s populations of sea turtles, including SCCF’s current research efforts.

About the Speaker:

After receiving a Bachelor’s of Science from Virginia Tech in Biology, Kelly worked as a research technician in a Virginia Tech lab investigating how animals use the magnetic field to orient and navigate. She started working for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Marine Turtle Conservation Program in 2007. While working at the SCDNR she completed her Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Kelly joined the SCCF team in December of 2013.