Lifelong Learning Institute Program on Endangered Lizards on Wednesday

​​​​NEWARK, Ohio, January 6, 2017 – The Lifelong Learning Institute at Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) will present a program titled, Ecology of Rock Iguanas in the Bahamas, with Geoffrey Smith, Ph.D., facilitating. It will take place on Wednesday, January 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the COTC Pataskala Campus, located at 8660 E. Broad St, Reynoldsburg, OH.

"Central Ohio Technical College promotes lifelong learning opportunities for seniors and retirees in the communities we serve," explained Director of the Workforce Development Innovation Center at COTC, Vicki Maple. "We are proud to be home to the Lifelong Leaning Institute (LLI), an organization dedicated to providing the aging population with learning opportunities, programming and cultural experiences that include educational field trips, a film study series, technology workshops, exploration of the arts, cultural exchanges, and interactive lectures on a variety of topics." 

About the Course: Rock iguanas (genus Cyclura) are found in the Greater Antilles and the Bahamian Archipelago. While they are among some of the largest lizards in the world, they are also among the most endangered. This course will examine aspects of their basic biology and ecology, including their diversity, biogeography, life history and behavior. The course will also investigate case studies of the conservation threats facing these unique lizards in the Bahamas; in particular, the potential effects of ecotourism and non-native species on Rock Iguana populations.

Instructor Bio: Geoff Smith is a professor of biology at Denison University. He received his B.A. in Biology from Earlham College, and his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At Denison University, he teaches courses in ecology and evolution, multicellular life, vertebrate zoology, and population and community ecology. His research focuses broadly on the effects of human alterations of the environment, on populations and communities of amphibians and reptiles. He conducts research at the Denison University Biological Reserve.

LLI programs include complimentary refreshments, and first-time guests are welcome to attend at no cost. Seniors over the age of 55 from throughout Central Ohio may inquire about membership or receive a free catalog of courses by calling 740-364-9565, emailing, or going online to

COTC was ranked number one in Ohio and number 19 in the nation by PayScale in its 2016-17 College Salary Report ranking the best community and career colleges by salary potential. COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.