NATURE IS CALLING

Wild man Jeff Corwin visits BSU as part of his national tour advocating ecological awareness.

When the name Jeff Corwin comes up in casual conversation, many think of the goofy guy whose TV show airs after Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.

Stopping at Cardinal Hall at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Corwin continues his national tour advocating ecological awareness. Jan Gaff, University Program Board Advisor, said she didn't know what to expect from him besides his good will toward all inhabitants of the planet.

"We try to find a lot of diversity for all different majors," Gaff said. "You never know exactly what he's going to do or say during a speech."

What the audience can expect, however, is a short film about ecological awareness, a speech covering his experience with animals, and a question and answer session. All of these combined with his animal-friendly approach to speaking should total one to two hours.

Known for his spontaneous jokes on his television program, Corwin presents a balanced, enthusiastic presentation of earth's many ecosystems.

"I like him because he's not all show like other nature guys on that channel," Freshman Justin Zukowks said. "I'm interested in animals, and he pays more attention to animals as a whole as opposed to only the dangerous onces."

While some viewers admire his equal opportunity approach to wildlife coverage, other find it more tame than similar programming.

"He's like the crocodile hunter on muscle relaxers," Chris Matecki, freshman, said. "Some of it's kind of interesting, but his humor reminds me of Bob Saget from 'Full House.'"

Despite his image, there's far more to Jeff Corwin than a childish sense of humor and courage in the face of venomous snakes. Corwin's drive to protect the environment and its inhabitants stems from his childhood. As early as 1984, he first experienced the rainforests through an expedition to Belize.

Roughly 18 years after that first taste of tropical wildlife, Corwin graduated from Bridgewater State College with degrees in anthropology and biology. He is currently working on his graduate work at the University of Massachusetts.

He has also helped advocate many environmental protection groups both domestic and international, including the United Nations Environmental Program, the National Geographic Society and others.

With school still remaining a part of his priorities, he manages to find the time to tour the country to promote wildlife conservation. He's also had the drive to host and help create two television programs on the Disney Channel, "Going Wild with Jeff Corwin," which aired from 1997 to 1999, and "The Jeff Corwin Experience" which began in the autumn of 2000.

Despite his life as a television personality, he speaks across the world to promote environmental protection. He developing an upcoming line of books covering endangered species and their environments.


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