Posted by Chris Anderson on Nov 26, 2018
Pictured (L to R) - President Katie Geise, Twan Leenders (RTPI), and Joni Blackman (RTPI and Rotary!)
Our very own Joni Blackman announced our speaker for today, Mr. Twan Leenders, President, Roger Tory Peterson Institute.  Joni is also the Chief Operations Officer for RTPI.   
Twan is a biologist from The Netherlands interested in animal ecology and conservation management. For more than twenty years his work with birds, mammals, plants and especially tropical amphibians and reptiles has taken him to various places on the planet, including Costa Rica and Panama.
As a former researcher at Yale University’s Peabody Museum and other institutions he participated in many international expeditions that helped gather data to better understand and protect biologically important areas and their unique species and habitats.
As President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, he now applies his experience to our region and develops new conservation research and education initiatives that aim to spark increased interest in the area’s exceptional natural assets while providing economic incentives to promote good environmental stewardship.
Twan explained the life and contributions of Roger Tory Peterson.  Roger was born and raised in Jamestown and is the inventor of the modern day field guide and word-renowned naturalist.  Roger Tory Peterson brought the study of nature and natural history to the people.  People were able to learn about nature in their own backyard.  
Roger’s impact is worldwide.  He was a very modest man as well.  Born, raised and inspired in Jamestown, Roger’s whole career was inspired by resources in Jamestown which allowed him to become the influential naturalist we all know.  This is a significant contribution to the natural world from a person who is a native son to our area.    
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute exists to honor Roger Tory Peterson and his legacy by focusing on art and education and conservation.  RTPI is the official steward of Roger Tory Peterson’s legacy.  RTPI exists to preserve Roger’s legacy and continue the important work that he started.  
As the steward of Roger Tory Peterson's legacy, RTPI connects people with nature through Art, Education and Conservation.  
Twan also explained how Jamestown is full of threatened bird species such as the Common Nighthawk, Chimney Swifts and Purple Martins.  They are some of the fastest declining birds in the country and the planet.  All three live in Jamestown.  
To learn more about the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, please visit their web site at