February 13, 2020, Presentation:
Jay Eubanks has enjoyed a wild career with wildlife- especially amphibians and reptiles. Jay graduated from the University of Memphis in 2001 with a B.S. in Biology. During his years as an undergrad, he spent nearly all of his free time working in the herpetology lab of the late Dr. William Gutzke. Jay assisted several graduate researchers with their projects- ranging from foraging ecology and behavior of Ratsnakes to freshwater turtle nesting ecology to digestive physiology of Alligators and Rattlesnakes. In addition to working with those projects, he assisted Dr. Gutzke with salamander surveys in the Great Smoky Mountains in search of the elusive Junaluska Salamander. Jay also worked as a seasonal keeper in the reptile department at the Memphis Zoo during college. After graduation, he worked at the Knoxville Zoo in East Tennessee, in the shadow of the Smokies, where his love of salamanders grew into more of an obsession… including a brief stint as a “Salamander Expert”- leading groups of high school students into the national park to conduct citizen science surveys sponsored by National Geographic Society.
Jay has seen somewhere around 50 species of salamanders in the wild… including Appalachian specialties like Hellbenders and Yonahlossee Salamanders… and he even got a glimpse of an Alabama endemic Red Hills Salamander in its burrow once… but as he will discuss in his presentation, that number of species on his lifelist is everchanging… and there will always be more salamanders to see!
Jay currently offers educational programs with reptiles and amphibians in his spare time under the name “Green Snake Education”… so if you’d like to have snakes and turtles… and even a salamander at your next birthday party or event, Jay will be delighted to help you with that.
Our Meetings: Friends of Shades Creek meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at Homewood Library, Room 101 (downstairs) for informational and educational presentations. Meeting time is 7:00 P.M. We do not meet in summer months of June and July. Our December meeting is a holiday party, taking place in a different venue. It has also, become a tradition to have our May meeting at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for a walk and special program.
Friends of Shades Creek programs are free and open to the public. We welcome all to attend. The meeting format begins with refreshments, introductions and announcements and then the presentation, which runs 45-60 minutes long, leaving 10-20 minutes for Q & A. The meeting ends at 8:45 P.M.