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Explorit Lecture a Re-VOLE-utionary Experience

This article appeared in the September 18, 2015 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise

Explorit’s Science Lecture Series continues in October with the family-friendly talk “Re-VOLE-utionizing the Mojave desert: Conservation and Captive Breeding of the endangered Amargosa vole ” by Risa Pesapane from UC Davis and Austin Roy from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Austin and Risa will take the audience on a virtual journey to the Mojave desert and describe efforts to save a little known, yet incredibly charismatic endangered species. We’ll also describe how you can help the Amargosa vole captive breeding program, right here at UC Davis!

 Their talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 in the beautiful facility at DMG Mori, 3805 Faraday Ave. in Davis.

Risa Pesapane is a graduate student and Amargosa vole colony manager in the Foley Laboratory of Infectious Disease Ecology at UC Davis. Her research interests include wildlife conservation, infectious disease dynamics, and community ecology. Risa earned a BS in wildlife science (2006), BS in biology (2007), and an MS in wildlife science (2011) with a focus on the exchange of microorganisms between humans and wildlife; all awarded by Virginia Tech.

Prior to graduate school, Risa conducted research professionally for both academic labs and biotech companies.  She also currently serves on the board of directors for the One Health Commission, a non-profit organization that aims to promote and facilitate health research.

The joint UC Davis–CDFW team is led by Dr. Foley, a full-time faculty member with the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine specializing in disease ecology and Dr. Clifford the agency’s wildlife veterinarian for nongame, threatened and endangered species.

This free, family-friendly talk is appropriate for all ages. Explorit’s free lecture series will continue throughout the year, connecting dynamic speakers from the science and technology communities with the public to further everyone’s understanding of the wonders in the world around us.


Explorit’s coming events:


  • Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition!
  • Join Explorit’s Nature Bowl team—open to 3rd-6th graders, beginning Thursday, October 1! We meet in Explorit’s West Wing classroom Thursday afternoons 3:00-4:30. Register now at
  • Spooky Science Nights will be back again for Halloween this year! More details to come.
  • Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.
  • Interested in membership?  Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up!
  • Birthdays are back at Explorit!  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.



Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at

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