Is the humanity we see in animals really just a reflection of ourselves? Find out more at this Strolling Science Seminar

The humanity of wildlife: Exploring dangerous ideas that connect the experiences of humans and wildlife led by Billy Gunnels December 16, 2016, register here!billy gunnels

Join CREW Trustee Dr. Billy Gunnels on a fascinating stroll on the CREW Trails where we will explore anthropomorphism and its place in the scientific world. As children, we are taught to think about wildlife in very human terms. Animals, in all their various shapes and forms, are the most common protagonists in fables that serve as parables to teach us about morality, socialization, and other life lessons. This role of and perspective about animals changes dramatically as we mature and are taught to avoid such anthropomorphic perspectives as adults – wildlife are not people and people are not wildlife. This “adult” insight has value. However, anthropodenial is also scientifically inaccurate. In this strolling science seminar, we will look at cases where humans and wildlife share similar experiences and motivations and cases where they do not. This will provide a richer and more complete understanding of wildlife at CREW.

Billy Gunnels is a father, scientist, and educator. Professionally, he is an associate professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. Where he explores animal behavior, social evolution, and human-animal interactions in both research and teaching. When asked about CREW he replied, “ I love CREW and the role that this landscape has on our region. As such, I have served as a trustee on the CREW Land and Water Trust for many years”.

Registration is required, you can sign up by clicking here.

Want to learn more about anthropomorphism? Dr. Billy Gunnels recommends the two articles below:
De Waal, F. (1997). Are we in Anthropodenial? Discovery Magazine

De Waal, F. (2016). What I learned from Tickling Apes. New York Times
This is part of the CREW Strolling Science Seminar series, an annual series of scholarly walking seminars designed specifically for adults to gain in-depth knowledge about the science of CREW. Become a CREW Member and get a discount on your ticket TODAY. Non-members may join CREW and become eligible to take advantage of the member discount for all workshops by going to or by calling 239-657-2253.

Pollinator Partnership

We hope summer is treating you all well. It’s quiet time at CREW, while the rainy season sets in and the tourists are away, and it’s been a couple of months since our first Strolling Science Seminar series ended with a delightfully enlightening session on Pollinators led by FGCU professor, billY Gunnels. In that session billY told fascinating stories of plants and animals – both generalists and specialists – and their quest to achieve pollination, one of the most important biological processes on our planet. Aside from the obvious ecosystems that need pollinators, we humans also depend on pollinators for food, drink, fiber, and medicines.

But worldwide there is “evidence that pollinating animals have suffered from loss of habitat, chemical misuse, introduced and invasive plant and animal species, diseases and parasites.” ( Because one of the goals of the CREW Strolling Science Seminars is to inspire people to engage in some form of citizen science, we wanted to share this pollinator resource we’ve come across recently – the Pollinator Partnership. Their mission “is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.”

You can use their resources to learn how to plant a pollinator friendly garden, to get involved with pollinator monitoring, to use pollinator-promoting farm practices, to volunteer, and much more. Learn the natural history and current research on bees, hummingbirds, and other important pollinators. Of course, billY might have a different thing or two to say about honeybees! 🙂

There’s even a planting guide for the Outer Coastal Plain Mixed Province, which includes most of Florida. So check it out and help all the pollinators out there do their jobs. After all, our ecosystems and our food sources depend on them!

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