Natural History Society of Maryland Herp Club Presents ‘Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: How a University and a Town Came Together to Protect an Endangered Turtle’

The discovery that a population of an endangered turtle was nesting within the historic town of Port Deposit presented everyone involved (university researchers, town residents, and the turtle) with a unique challenge. Many municipalities view the presence of an endangered species as a barrier to economic development and biologists often do not desire public involvement in management of such species. In addition, the turtles are challenged by disturbance from residents and threatened by cars and habitat changes. Learn how this challenge has resulted in a positive outcome for all parties in this presentation by Dr. Richard Seigel and Zoe Huff, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University.

Dr. Seigel is a conservation biologist/population ecologist working primarily with amphibians and reptiles, especially snakes and turtles who did doctoral work with Henry Fitch  at the University of Kansas, post-doc work with Whit Gibbons at SREL, and spent 13 years as a faculty member at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is currently a Professor at Towson University in Maryland working on map turtles, box turtles, and spotted turtles in Maryland, gopher tortoises, snake populations, and wetlands herp communities in Florida and Arizona,  and continued work on life-history evolution of snakes with Neil Ford at UT-Tyler.

Normally, Club meetings, trips and other activities are open solely to Club Members. However, during COVID, NHSM is opening up this meeting to all, though we are asking for a $5 donation from non-members. If you are a herp enthusiast, please consider joining us. You must be a member of NHSM to join any of its clubs.

  • Donation : $5
  • NHSM Herp Club Member: $0
    Membership has its privileges. Join today
  • COVID Exemption: $0
    If you are unable to pay at this time due to the pandemic – but still want to learn.


The Natural History Society of Maryland is a volunteer-led non-profit organization, so the fee you pay will go directly to support the programs, the nature collections, and the building that make this kind of nature education possible.

Please direct any questions about this program to