This month we will learn about how torrent ducks (Merganetta armata) live at high altitudes in the Andes of South America. This presentation will help us understand these riverine specialist ducks, and the methodology used to capture them alive. We will also learn about their history: when and how torrent ducks occupied the Andes, their behaviors (diving, feeding, and reproduction), their population abundance, and their orphological and physiological adaptations to the extreme conditions that they live in, such as high elevation, low temperatures, and hypoxia. Our guest speaker, Dr. Alza-Leon, is an ecologist, working in evolutionary biology. He works as a full-time instructor at Casper College and as an associated researcher to the Centro de Ornitología y Biodiversidad in Peru. He spent more than twenty years working in the field in Peru, and other countries in South America and in the Antarctic Peninsula. He began his career as an undergraduate in 1995, working in different research and monitoring projects. Later, in 2012, he started in the Ph.D. program at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and finished at the University of Miami, Florida. During that time, he moved to Casper in 2017 to start his family, and worked as a zoology adjunct instructor for the University of Wyoming at Casper.
Please join us on Thursday, April 14, at 7 PM at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, 4205 Fort Caspar Road, for this program. As always, the program is free and open to the public!
-Luis Alza-Leon and Donna Walgren