Bruce Museum looks at desert concerns

With Extreme Habitats: Living Desert Dry, which is on view through March 3, 2013, the Bruce Museum is exploring the complex ecosystems of deserts by looking at how and where they form, examining plant and animal survival strategies and explaining the significance of these regions in our everyday lives.

The exhibition also spotlights the global issue of desertification, the process by which fertile land is transformed into desert as a result of human-induced causes such as deforestation and poor agricultural practices, and drought conditions that have been exacerbated by inadequate conservation of water resources and climate change.

To complement the exhibition, the Bruce will hold the second of a two-part lecture series on Oct. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Desertification: A Perspective from the UNCCD Drylands Ambassador will feature Leila Lopes. A native of Angola and Miss Universe 2011, Ms. Lopes is a Drylands Ambassador to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). She will discuss the importance and impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought, and sustainable land management.

Though part of her native country of Angola is threatened by desertification, Ms. Lopes has said she understands that drylands are not a liability and that they hold great potential to solve some of the most pressing problems in advancing sustainable development.

Organized by the Bruce Museum Science Committee, the lecture series is supported by Sara and Don Nelson and the Marjorie Sims Lawrence Fund.

Reservations are strongly recommended and will be accepted beginning two weeks prior to the lecture. Call the Museum at 203-413-6757. The lectures are free to museum members and students with school or college identification.

Admission for non-members is $5 at the door. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the lectures begin promptly at 7 p.m.

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