Knoxville Zoo’s Steve McGaffin Receives Insect Conservation Scholarship

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville Zoo’s Steve McGaffin Receives Insect Conservation Scholarship

Posted: 06/26/2009
Steve McGaffin, Knoxville Zoo's Education Outreach and Field Programs Coordinator, has received a scholarship to attend the Imperiled Butterfly Conservation and Management (IBCM) training program. The IBCM training program is designed to assist professionals from zoos, aquariums, and other conservation-based institutions in initiating butterfly conservation or recovery programs at their facilities. IBCM is a partnership involving the University of Florida's Florida Museum of Natural History, Chicago Academy of Sciences, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Oregon Zoo, Toledo Zoo, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and the Butterfly Conservation Initiative. These partner institutions have established butterfly conservation and recovery programs or offer expertise in key areas such as plant propagation or program coordination.

McGaffin was one of only 25 attendees across the country chosen to receive a full scholarship to attend the IBCM program. Program attendees participate in a series of five intensive four-day laboratory and field-training workshops over the next three years. Workshops will be held at five institutions throughout the country with established butterfly conservation and recovery programs. Participants will get hands-on training in species recovery, captive breeding, plant propagation, organism reintroduction and translocation, and ecological and behavioral research.

McGaffin hopes to incorporate butterfly conservation into Knoxville Zoo's educational programs. "This is an opportunity for students to learn about science and conservation hands-on while gaining a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and ownership in the program," says McGaffin. "We hope to start by researching and monitoring the local wild populations. Our long-term goal is to establish conservation programs involving invasive plant removal and reestablishing native plants. We also will be looking at potentially starting a captive breeding and release program of native butterflies at local natural areas."

Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day.The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed tothe highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Currently, thezoo is open everyday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before thezoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call 865-637-5331ext. 300 or visit