March 24, 2006

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations, Edtwon A. Myree Student Assistant

Can Ivory-billed Woodpeckers Help Save the World?

Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, known for his recent discovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the wetlands of eastern Arkansas, will be the guest speaker at the 24th Annual Connell Lecture, hosted by the Biology Department at Valdosta State University. Dr. Fitzpatrick will present, "How Ivory-billed Woodpeckers (and other birds) Can Help Save the World," on Wednesday, March 29, 2006, at 7 p.m., in the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center Auditorium.

Dr. Fitzpatrick is a nationally renowned ornithologist (the study of birds). He will share his recent rediscovery of a species that was once thought to be extinct in North America.

Fitzpatrick graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1974 and received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1978. He is currently a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and the director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University. He is also a fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, the oldest and largest organization in the world devoted to the scientific study of birds, where he served as president from 2000-2002. In 1985, Fitzpatrick received the Brewster Award for his research on ecology, social behavior, and conservation of the endangered Florida Scrub-Jay, which continues through the present.

The Connell Lecture Program, named after former VSU professor Dr. Clyde Eugene Connell, was the first endowed visiting lecturer program established at Valdosta State University. The program was designed to honor the retirement of Connell from Valdosta State College in 1980.

For more information on this event, contact Mitch Lockhart at 229-333-5767.

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