Wildlife Conservation Series - Blank Park Zoo

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Tickets are now on sale for our 2016 Conservation Speaker Series!  

Thursday, February 4 - Ian Chase Nichols, a National Geographic photographer and an emerging figure in the field of photography and conservation. Ian will speak about four years studying and photographing gorillas and chimps in Congo. 
Note: this is a new speaker from previous outreach materials.

Thursday, March 3 - Wally Van Sickle, wildlife biologist and conservationist, founder of IDEA WILD, this organization has provided tools and equipment to over 4,500 projects in 115 countries.

Thursday, April 7- James Pease, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus in the Natural Resource Ecology and Management Department at Iowa State University, speaking about his work with Iowa Rivers Revival on water conservation in the state.


Member: $20 per event
Non-Member: $25 per event
Student: $15 per speaker

Click here to purchase tickets


Ian Chase Nichols
Ian Chase Nichols is an emerging figure in the field of photography and conservation with vast expertise in capturing images of the world’s rarest and most elusive wildlife. His quiet work behind the camera is instantly recognizable, and his photos have appeared in a variety of venues, including National Geographic and many others. Upon graduation from the University of Virginia in 2005, Ian studied chimps at a research site in Congo, where he spent four years photographing undocumented tool use. In 2007, Ian photographed lowland gorillas in Congo on assignment for National Geographic magazine. Ian has also spent time working for the Smithsonian Institution in Gabon, Africa.



Wally Van Sickle
Wally Van Sickle, wildlife biologist and conservationist, became deeply impressed by the importance of ‘front lines’ work being done by biologists in developing nations, who lacked even the most basic tools. From this inspiration, Wally founded IDEA WILD in 1991 to minimize a worldwide loss of biodiversity by empowering the people doing this important work. This organization preserves the world’s greatest ecological treasures and has aided over 4,500 projects in 115 countries.



James Pease, Ph.D.
Jim has inspired an appreciation for Iowa’s wildlife and wild places for over four decades. After teaching for twenty-four years, he is now retired, has emeritus status in the Natural Resource Ecology and Management Department at Iowa State University and is active in speaking, writing, consulting, and leading international wildlife trips. He helped design and conduct the Master River Stewards Program for Iowa Rivers Revival and has paddled 1400 miles of Iowa’s rivers conducting surveys for the Iowa Water Trails program.


*speakers subject to change without notice



Special Student Opportunity

Teachers, educators, and mentors: Give your students the unforgettable opportunity to meet these wildlife visionaries! There will be an extended Q&A session and the presentations will be catered to help your students channel their passions and find out how they can pursue careers that incites positive change!

The teacher who brings the largest group of students to the entire series will be awarded a Behind the Scenes tour for their students at Blank Park Zoo (some restrictions apply)!


$7 per event, $16 for series (with valid student or teacher ID)

3:45-4:00 PM Refreshments

4:00 PM Presentation and Q&A

Click here to purchase tickets

All events will be held at Blank Park Zoo | 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50315


Click here to watch previous conservation talks.

Click here to learn about previous speakers and the causes they support.


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