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Biologist Alvin Braswell to Speak on Reptiles and Amphibians of the Outer Banks - National Park Service begins Know Your Park Presentation Series

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Date: October 17, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Want to know what venomous snakes live on the Outer Banks, or what kind of tree frogs are barking near that outside door light, or how one special water snake has adapted to living in the salty marshes of Dare and Hyde counties? The National Park Service is hosting "Know Your Park - Reptiles and Amphibians of the Outer Banks" for the public, both young and old, to learn about the wild and fascinating lives of snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles inhabiting these barrier islands.

Alvin Braswell, Curator of Herpetology at the North Carolina Museum of Science is the featured speaker for two Know Your Park presentations on Outer Banks reptiles and amphibians, Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 PM at the Ocracoke Community Center; and Friday, October 27 at 7:30 PM at the Cape Hatteras Secondary School library/media center. Both facilities are located on NC Highway 12. The presentations are free.

"We are honored to have an expert like Alvin Braswell as our first speaker for the new Outer Banks Group Know Your Park presentation series" stated Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray. "Know Your Park is a new program designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring National Park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site." The Outer Banks Group will be offering several Know Your Park programs between October and April.

Alvin Braswell attended North Carolina State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology and a master’s degree in Zoology. He began work a curator at the North Carolina Museum of Science in Raleigh in 1974 and has been the Museum’s Curator of Herpetology and Research Laboratory Director since 1996. His field research has taken him throughout wetlands and uplands across North Carolina. Braswell has written numerous papers for the scientific journals as well as scientific reports for the Museum and other state agencies. He co-authored the book, Reptiles of North Carolina, a beautifully illustrated and comprehensive overview of the subject. Braswell is no stranger to the Outer Banks. Besides being active in research here, he is an avid fisherman and visits area beaches and off shore waters several times each year.

Did You Know?

The Principal Lightkeeper's Quarters and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move toward their new homes, a safer distance from the ocean.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick structure ever moved. When it was built in 1870, it stood 1,500 feet from the shore. By 1999, the lighthouse was within 100 feet of the ocean. To protect it from the encroaching sea, it was moved inland a total of 2,900 feet over a 23-day period.