Visiting Scientists Series

A Vision for Inspiration

The Visiting Scientists Series (VSS) was established to inspire and educate young people and the public about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

VSS showcases scientists working in a variety of fields, with the intent to reach a diverse audience and to inspire local students to consider careers in science. VSS also provides resources for educators, educates members of technical organizations, and informs the community on science and technical issues.

The Visiting Scientists Series is a partnership of
Bismarck State College, Gateway to Science, Bismarck Public Schools, ND Society of Professional Engineers, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, St. Mary’s Central High School, US Geological Survey, University of Mary, DuPont and the ND Department of Human Services.

The next Visiting Scientists Series presentation will be ““Behavior and Enrichment Studies at the Dakota
Zoo” by Michael Lares, Ph.D.
on Thursday, April 24, 2014, @ 7:00PM.
The presentation will be held at the Dakota Zoo Discovery Center, Sertoma Park Road, Bismarck. 

Dr. Lares was inspired to begin incorporating student-designed research projects into his Animal Behavior course after taking a Duke University course on teaching animal behavior in 2000. Since that time, students in Animal Behavior at the University of Mary have conducted more than 20 research projects at the Dakota Zoo studying various methods by which the daily lives of animals can be enriched. Examples of these projects include investigating tigers’ responses to scent (Calvin Klein Obsession), the use of sound as a form of enrichment in Pallas Cats, Bison, and other animals, whether tigers habituate to artificial tiger calls, and responses of bears and tigers to visitation.

In this presentation, Dr. Lares will summarize some of the intriguing findings of these projects. Student-prepared posters of each of the studies will be displayed, with time allotted to view these posters.

Dr. Michael Lares was born in the Bronx, NY. He has a B.S. in marine science from Southampton College, an M.S. in biology from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of South Florida. His publications include several peer-reviewed articles on the biology and ecology of echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish), and he described a new species of parasite from the intestine of sea cucumbers. Dr. Lares has taught at the University of Mary for 15 years. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dakota Zoo, where he chairs the Conservation and Research Committees. Download a pdf to learn more about Dr. Michael Lares’ Presentation.