Sat, Oct 26|
Cape Cod Museum of Art
What Change!? Over Fifty Years of Nature Observation on Cape Cod with Robert Prescott
Bob will deliver a very engaging talk on his stellar 37 year career with Audubon! He will now assume the role of director emeritus, and continue to oversee many of the Wellfleet Sanctuary’s conservation efforts, to include cold-stunned sea turtle rescue and diamondback terrapin monitoring.
Time & Location
Oct 26, 2019, 1:00 PM
Cape Cod Museum of Art, 60 Hope Ln, Dennis, MA 02638, USA
I have been very fortunate to have spent my entire career on Cape Cod. As a summer kid who never left, my working life included, research, education, advocacy and conservation.
The Cape I became aware of all those years ago, no longer exists. It has been replaced by and evolved into a very different mosaic of habitats inhabited by an ever-changing mix of species. Some of this change is natural, but some was brought on by more regional and global scale changes.
This program focuses on some of those changes, some might be obvious, some maybe not so much. Birds have always been a good indicator of change. Populations come and go, some for cultural reasons, others because of habitat, still others because of climatic change.
Marine ecosystems also change. The Cape has typically been a barrier for the warmer water species to our south and the colder water species to our north. The Cape is no longer the barrier it once was. We’ll see examples of some of those species that now are breaking this barrier.
What we observe as “natural habitats” may not be, when viewed within a larger timeframe. Things change, species move, landscapes are altered, but nature persists. During this program we’ll see how it is all related.
Last, we take a quick look at some potential change looming on the horizon.
- Bob Prescott
Bob Prescott recently retired after 37 years as director, and is now Sanctuary Director Emeritus of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Over those years, he has been actively involved in coastal issues and research. He transformed Wellfleet Bay from a nature reserve to a center for ongoing education and research. The day camp program expanded, in-school, pre-K to high school, programming was developed, programs for all ages were expanded and numerous citizen science projects focusing on horseshoe crabs, nesting terrapins and oyster reef habitat restoration, to name a few, were developed.
Bob has a degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and has studied such diverse topics as seal and marine mammals around Cape Cod, home range of box turtles, restoration of the osprey population by erecting osprey nest platforms and started and continues to direct the sea turtle rescues and studies. Bob's particular interests are in coastal ecosystems and the wildlife, both vertebrate and invertebrates, associated with them.
Bob has co-authored a number of peer reviewed papers, presented at conferences and co-authored posters on Diamondback Terrapins, Eastern Box Turtle and sea turtles.
Bob has led trips bird watching and nature tours national and internationally, primarily focusing on north, south and central America.
He is on the board of the Friends of the Herring River, was past President of the Orleans Conservation Trust and still serve on their Land Management Committee. He is currently Vice President of the newly formed Sipson Island Trust. Bob also is the Southeastern Massachusetts coordinator for NOAA/NMFS’s Northeast Sea Turtle Stranding Network.
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