Jeff Corwin to bring wildlife to ULS lecture

Students will be able to hear firsthand accounts of exotic jungles and animals tonight in the Marshall Student Center (MSC) Ballroom from wildlife expert Jeff Corwin.

Corwin, executive producer and host of the show The Jeff Corwin Experience, will be the third speaker from the University Lecture Series (ULS) this semester. His lecture, Tales from the Field with Jeff Corwin, will focus on the environment and the sustainability and conservation of wildlife. Incorporated in his lecture will be various Florida species, possibly including a cougar, an alligator and a Burmese python.

In an interview with The Oracle, Corwin said he enjoys the opportunity to give lectures because it allows him to meet and educate his fans.

I really enjoy meeting the people who allow me to be on TV, he said. Its a great joy to me to be out there on the road. I spend most of my time filming, so its a way to connect.

Some of the animals Corwin will bring are threatend or endangered. Mammals, according to a journal cited by BBC News, have faced an almost 99 percent decline in Florida because of human factors harming the natural environment.

According to ULS, thought Corwin plans to bring many of these animals, not all may be present due to their unpredictable natures.

Corwin, who has also partnered with Defenders of Wildlife to host a documentary series and served as an environmental correspondent for CNNs Anderson Cooper 360, said he has been interested in environmental conservation his entire life.

Ever since I was a little kid, Ive had an attraction to nature, Corwin said. When I was first given the opportunity to be in a documentary, it was like a lightbulb went off.

Corwin hopes to educate his audience on the issue that is most important to him extinction of species.

The greatest issue today is of extinction, for me I want to try to inspire people to get the info they need to prevent extinction, Corwin said. The mission for all is to stop extinction of species and (to) protect the environment.

Corwin, who will receive a $25,000 speaking fee the lowest amount of all the ULS speakers this semester, is also excited to share stories about his favorite animals, snakes, and his favorite experiences, including scientists discovery of new species or re-discovery of species that were thought to have been extinct, like the black-footed ferret, with students.

Well be talking about adventure, Corwin said. The audience will see some really cool critters, ones theyve never seen before.

ULS Executive Director Romel Boiser, a senior majoring in public health, said he thought Corwin would be a popular speaker among students, a generation who watched Corwins show, which began in 2001 on Animal Planet.

Hes been around for so long, especially for our generation, he said. A lot of the students that will be coming grew up watching him, and can relate well to his message.

Boiser said ULS found a connection between students and environmentalism, which is a trending topic in the news.

Its a message that is ringing very loudly with our generation, he said. We do need to have more efforts toward sustainability and conservation of our (wildlife) species.

The lecture starts at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7:30 p.m.