How a birder learned to look down

How a birder learned to look down

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Professor will discuss enthusiasm for box turtles

Neil Bernstein will discuss his study of ornate box turtles at an upcoming Explorers Seminar at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Biosphere Discovery Hub in the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History.

Bernstein, chair of the natural and applied sciences department at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids and a longstanding faculty member at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, will present a discussion of his research on ornate box turtles found in Johnson County. A lifelong birding enthusiast, he began studying the threatened terrestrial turtle species after the population at the Coralville Reservoir narrowly escaped the 1993 floods.

Bernstein's interests include ornithology, conservation, environmental issues, and animal behavior. Prior to studying box turtles, his research focused on Antarctic seabirds. He served as president of the Iowa Academy of Science and editor of The Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science. He has won a variety of awards, including the Iowa Academy of Science Distinguished Iowa Science Teaching Award. He also has served on and has been an officer on a variety of community boards.

The talk will be followed by time for open discussion and questions from the public.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this seminar or for more information on the UI Museum of Natural History and the Explorers Seminar Series, call in advance, at 319-335-2010 or email


Sarah Horgen, Museum of Natural History, 319-335-0606


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