Mark's lecture and discussion topics INCLUDE:
THE EXPLORER GENE & "NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER"
A genetic mutation --a variant of a gene called DRD4 that helps control dopamine, a chemical brain messenger important in learning and reward is being talked about as "The Explorer Gene". Its carried by approximately 20% of the population and those with the mutation are typically characterized by curiosity and restlessness, they are more likely to take risks and explore new places and new things. But the nature of explorers --from ancient times to today-- can't be explained by this one variation, and Mark will talk about what are the factors that drive us to explore.
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF EXPLORERS AND CONSERVATIONISTS
How do we spark children's curiosity for the natural world and lock inside them a responsibility of stewardship towards it? How can we mold tomorrow's explorers by inspiring them to think constructively beyond their boundaries, and how can we teach the next generation the imperative that we must never stop searching for better ways to live in harmony with our planet.
We’re facing a crossroads –the hottest weather on record in the US, the worst droughts since the 1936 Dust Bowl, powerful hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunami’s, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting... In the future we won’t be able to rely on the same sources for food that we take for granted today... no more chicken, beef or pork. But across the planet, many sources of high protein foods are eaten everyday... foods like maggots, spiders, and cockroaches, eyeballs, bulls balls, reptiles and rodents... Mark will talk about how we can expand our definition of "edible" foods for the future.
CONSERVATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS WORKING TOGETHER FOR WILDLIFE & WILD LAND CONSERVATION
What is a wild place? It’s where native species flourish. But wildlife habitat loss is the largest threat facing native wildlife today. With over 70% of US land in private and corporate hands, we need new partners and sustainable models for native wildlife to thrive into the 21st Century.
RAPTORS: PREDATORS OF THE SKY
Mark has trained as a falconer his whole life and is passionate about Birds of Prey, an interest that began at the age of 8 when he trained his first hawk. His father, Jim Fowler is the first man ever to catch and train a Harpy eagle for falconry education. Mark studied under his father and renowned Master Falconers and will share the fascinating world of raptors through live free flight demonstrations with Birds of Prey.
THE WATER CONTINENT: POLYNESIAN EXPANSION ACROSS THE PACIFIC
For centuries, scientists have argued over the origins of the Polynesian people. Today, many scientists dispute the existence of lost continents and dismiss native people’s creation myths, such as Hiva of Rapa Nui legend. But if the definition of “continent” is redefined as a vast “territory” connected by water not by land, could the lost “continent” of the Pacific be the Polynesian Triangle, and could the advanced Polynesian civilization have reached the Americas 500 years before Columbus...?