Roundtable to Spotlight Belize Zoo Project

Roundtable to Spotlight Belize Zoo Project


A SUNY Cortland political science professor, a College administrator and students will present a progress report on SUNY Cortland’s Belize Zoo Project during a Community Roundtable on Thursday, Oct. 6, at SUNY Cortland.

The history of the unique partnership the College and zoo have developed will be described from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Park Center Hall of Fame Room. A question-and-answer period will follow. Refreshments will precede the lecture at 7:45 a.m.

Among the topics to be discussed will be SUNY Cortland’s efforts to develop a curriculum based on the publication of two children’s books about animals rescued by the Belize Zoo, said Thomas Pasquarello, a SUNY Cortland political science professor involved in the College’s partnership with the zoo.

Sponsored by the President’s Office and the College’s Field Experience and School Partnerships Office, the Community Roundtable is free and open to the public.

Panelists include:

• Marley S. Barduhn, SUNY Cortland’s assistant provost for teacher education, who has encouraged the development of numerous international ties including this one in Belize;

• Christine Capobianco, a senior adolescence education: social studies major from Glen Cove, N.Y.

• Cassidy Fisk, a senior adolescence education: social studies major from Ithaca, N.Y.; and,

• Pasquarello, who has been very involved in fostering and continuing the College-zoo partnership.

Despite its small size, Belize has more intact ecosystems than any other country in Central America, and the Belize Zoo plays a large role in protecting its wildlife and habitat.

For several years, the College has raised funds and friends for the Belize Zoo, according to Pasquarello, who operates a blog about the zoo at The blog features, pictured above, a Margay wildcat the zoo named "Cortland" in recognition of its partner in the U.S.

Pasquarello will travel to Belize in October at the request of the U.S. ambassador and his wife.

For more information about the zoo, visit its website at

The Community Roundtable series provides programs on diverse intellectual, regional and cultural topics of interest to College faculty, staff and community members. This year, the number of roundtables has been reduced to reflect the merger of the Center for Educational Exchange with Field Placement to create Field Experience and School Partnerships Office. Four roundtables are scheduled this year. They will continue to take place on the first Thursday of the month, with future roundtables scheduled for November, April and May.

Parking in the Park Center lot is open to the public during the roundtables. For more information, contact the Field Experience and School Partnerships Office at (607) 753-4214.