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KIDS KALEIDOSCOPE  .   .   .


Animal Conservation in Central America Revealed, Then Skewered, at Santa Barbara Zoo’s “IMPROVology” Show

on Friday, January 12

Sarah Otterstrom

The diverse biodiversity of forests and coastal ecosystems of Central America, primarily Nicaragua, are the focus of IMPROVology when Dr. Sarah Otterstrom of Paso Pacifico is the featured guest on Friday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Discovery Pavilion. The doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15, and $12 for Santa Barbara Zoo Members. Buy at the door or online at www.sbzoo.org. More information at 805-962-5339. General admission seating, so early arrival is suggested. IMPROVology shows are often standing room only.

Dr. Otterstrom will share her stories in “TED Talk” style, and they then become the fodder for comedy skits created on-the-spot by members of L.A.’s Impro Theatre Company. Audience participation, musical accompaniment, snacks, beer and wine are all part of the fun. 

The host of the show is Dean Noble, the Zoo’s Marketing Director. Impro company members for this show are to be announced. Musical accompaniment is provided by Santa Barbara-based pianist Konrad Kono and bassist Dr. Michael Schindlinger (an expert in the languages of wild parrots and former IMPROVology guest).

Dr. Otterstrom founded Paso Pacifico in 2005 to build wildlife corridors that protect biodiversity and connect people to their land and ocean in the Pacific Slope ecosystems of Mesoamerica. Their innovative approach protects biodiversity where people already live and includes collaboration with local communities, landowners, and partner organizations. Sea turtles, spider monkeys, bats, jaguars, Amazon parrots, bees, and migratory birds are included in their projects, along with programs to plant a million trees by 2020, purchase critical forest areas, conduct marine conservation, and inspire Nicaragua’s youth through their Junior Rangers activities.

Locally, Dr. Otterstrom is also involved in Paso Pacifico’s partnership with the American Bird Conservancy and Southern Sierra Research Station to conduct an ecological restoration plan for the fire-impacted sites in the Los Padres National Fire following the 2007 Zaca Fire.

Sarah Otterstrom is a conservation scientist and social entrepreneur. In 2005, after completing her Ph.D. in Ecology at UC Davis, she founded Paso Pacifico, an internationally recognized conservation nonprofit focused on restoring and protecting the forest and coastal ecosystems of western Central America, particularly Nicaragua. They work in close partnership with local communities and private landowners to protect and monitor endangered species, plant trees and manage forests, and provide training to support sustainable livelihoods in eco-tourism, aquaculture, and agroforestry. Visit www.pasopacifico.org


Known as one of the world’s most beautiful zoos, the Santa Barbara Zoo is located on 30 acres of botanic gardens and is home to nearly 500 individual animals in open, naturalistic habitats. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), representing the highest level of animal care, and participates in AZA endangered species programs for Asian elephant, California condor, Channel Island fox, and Western lowland gorilla, among others. A private nonprofit corporation, the Santa Barbara Zoo depends on community support, not tax dollars, for operations and improvements.

The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission is $18 for adults, $13 for seniors aged 65+, $11 for children 2-12, and children under 2 are free. Parking is $11. Visit www.sbzoo.org.


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