The 21st Century Zoo


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February 21, 2011: Nearly 80 percent of Americans live in cities or urban areas. Their number one outdoor destination? The zoo. But today’s zoo has evolved far beyond the zoo we may remember from our childhood, toward being a major force in education, conservation and community leadership. Sharing his unique perspective on the vital role of the zoo is our guest, Dr. Stuart Strahl, President/CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and Director of one of the world’s premier zoological institutions, the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

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The 21st Century Zoo

This week's guest: Stuart Strahl, President & CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society & Director of the Brookfield Zoo

This week's guest: Stuart Strahl, President & CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society & Director of the Brookfield Zoo

Nearly 80 percent of Americans live in cities or urban areas. Their number one outdoor destination? The zoo. But today’s zoo has evolved far beyond the zoo we may remember from our childhood, toward being a major force in education, conservation and community leadership. Sharing his unique perspective on the vital role of the zoo is our guest, Dr. Stuart Strahl, President/CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and Director of one of the world’s premier zoological institutions, the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago.

With 20 years of background in national and international programs, Dr. Stuart Strahl is a career conservationist with deep experience in applied science, restoration ecology, public policy and not-for-profit management. ?Dr. Strahl currently is President/CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society and Director of one of the world’s premier zoological institutions with over 2 million annual visitors, the Brookfield Zoo.? Prior to arriving in Chicago, Dr. Strahl led Audubon into national prominence as the acknowledged private-sector leader in the largest ecological restoration initiative in history, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.? He served as founding President/CEO of Audubon of Florida and VP and Everglades Conservation Director of the National Audubon Society.? Dr. Strahl worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society from 1981-1992, first as a field zoologist in Venezuela and from 1988-1992 as the founding Director of Latin American Programs.

Dr. Strahl is dedicated to converting conservation into a mainstream public issue.? He has worked exten’sively to develop lasting partnerships in the U.S. and Latin America, which have resulted in preservation of over 50?million acres of wildlife habitat and over $15 billion in conservation funding.? He has served on numerous Boards of Directors and appointed commissions, has broad experience in bringing together diverse interests around mainstream causes, with strong leadership skills in facilitation, fundraising and strategic planning.

Dr. Strahl with one of the dolphins at the Brookfield Zoo. The Zoo does not capture dolphins from the wild and ensures its dolphins maintain social groups as they do in the wild.

Dr. Strahl with one of the dolphins at the Brookfield Zoo. The Zoo does not capture dolphins from the wild and ensures its dolphins maintain social groups as they do in the wild.

Dr. Strahl re?ceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Bates College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany, with an emphasis on ecology and conservation.? A well-respected author and distinguished lecturer, Dr. Strahl is the principal author of numerous scientific and popular publications, and served for over 10 years as the founding Chair of the IUCN/SSC Specialist Group on the Avian Family Cracidae.? He also has considerable background in higher education, and has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Florida, State University of New York, Washington College, among others.

The American Bison serves as the logo of the Brookfield Zoo

The American Bison serves as the logo of the Brookfield Zoo

An active outdoorsman, Life Member of the Society for Conservation Biology, Elective Member of the American Ornithologists? Union and Professional Member of the Boone and Crockett Club, Dr. Strahl enjoys birdwatching, wildlife-viewing, fishing, camping, and habitat restoration.? He and his family have traveled extensively throughout North and South America to remote areas of the Hemisphere in pursuit of these activities.

Also: Past Guest Xavier Cortada Featured in Journal, “Science”

Miami artist and founder of the Reclamation Project, Xavier Cortada is featured in the journal, Science as part of a commemoration of the 10-year anniversary of the completion of the mapping of the human genome. See Scientists Celebrate the Human Genome (Los Angeles Times, February 3, 2011). Xavier was featured in one of 2010’s top 10 episodes of “The Ocean Doctor” entitled, “I Hereby Reclaim this Land for Nature.”

Xavier Cortada (The Four Nucleotides:) Guanine, acrylic on canvas, 60" x 72" 2010

Xavier Cortada (The Four Nucleotides:) Guanine, acrylic on canvas, 60" x 72" 2010

Links:

The Chicago Zoological Society

Xavier Cortada

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