Contact: Natasha Dworkin
P: 206-543-9762 F: 206-616-7537

Thirty-fourth Annual Burke Memorial Lecture
JOURNEY TO ANTARCTICA: People and Penguins

Dee Boersma, Ph.D.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2001
Kane Hall, Room 120, 7 pm

Seattle, Sept. 15, 2001– People typically think of penguins as cute, comical, and well-dressed in their tuxedos. Though many of us see penguins only on television or in the zoo, not in their natural habitat, these eclectic seabirds have a great deal to teach us about conservation biology and environmental change. The thirty-fourth annual Burke lecturer, University of Washington Professor of Zoology Dr. Dee Boersma, is internationally known for her two decades of work with the Magellanic penguin populations of the south Atlantic. This penguin group is an important flagship species for conservation and economic development of nature-based tourism.

In her 20 years of research, Dr. Boersma has banded more than 50,000 penguins to learn more about individual birds. For the last 5 years she has used satellite tags to learn where they go while at sea and where they spend their time when they aren’t breeding. Her research has ranged from breeding biology to foraging ecology. Boersma has found that finding enough food to feed their chicks is one of the major problems facing the largest colony of Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo, Argentina. She has studied extensively the effects of humans on penguin populations; has been instrumental in documenting the dangers of prospecting and development on these seabirds, and has been interested in testing whether science makes any difference in terms of politics and decision-making.

Dr. Boersma has been a faculty member at the University of Washington for over twenty years. She is the past President of the Society for Conservation Biology and is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Peregrine Fund and Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center; she is a member of the Advisory Board of Walt Disney's Animal Kingdom. Dr. Boersma has also served on a variety of committees, including the Pacific Area Marine Sanctuary Committee. Boersma’s many awards and fellowships include: Paw Fellow for Conservation and the Environment 1997-2000, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Ornithology Union, 1995 William Evans Fellow of the University of Otago, New Zealand, the 1993 Outstanding Centennial Alumni Award of Central Michigan University, among others. She is the Executive Editor of Conservation Biology in Practice.

Last year Dr. Boersma followed in the wake of some of the early Antarctic explorers, visiting Antarctica and South Georgia Island as the on-board naturalist for an Antarctic cruise. A dynamic storyteller, Boersma will share her fascinating, sometimes harrowing experiences on that trip, discuss her research, and present slides from the penguin colonies of the south Atlantic during this engaging evening event.

The thirty-fourth annual Burke Lecture is presented in conjunction with the Burke’s current temporary exhibit The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, a remarkable display of over 150 images and original film footage from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s doomed 1914 Antarctic journey. The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition will be at the Burke through December 31, 2001.

Tickets for Dr. Dee Boersma’s lecture are available at the door, beginning at 6:15 pm. Admission is $8 general, $6 Burke members, seniors, students, and UW faculty and staff. Please call 206-543-5590 or visit the Burke’s website for more information:

The Burke Museum is located at the corner of NE 45th St and 17th Ave NE, on the University of Washington campus. The museum is closed July 4, Nov. 22, Dec. 25, and Jan. 1. Closing at 3 pm on Dec. 24th. Parking is $7/day, $3/evening (fee required at entry, in cash or check only; prorated refund dependent on length of stay). Parking is free after noon on Saturday and all day Sunday.

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