School and Virtual Visits

Laurel at Williston Central School IMG_2223

Laurel's school visits can focus on one or more of several areas:


Animal Insights

For elementary and middle school students, Laurel shares stories to provide insights into the wonders of wildlife. She uses stories about remarkable animals to launch into discussions on endangered species, wildlife rehabilitation and animal intelligence. They can be tailored to particular species or subject areas. Meet Chhouk, an orphaned elephant in Cambodia with a prosthetic leg. Learn what happened to him, the difficulties of wildlife rehabilitation, and about elephants more generally. Or meet Fu Manchu, an orangutan that loved outsmarting his zookeeper. Or Rocky, who enjoys imitating the ninja moves in Kung Fu Panda. Or discover that Curious George is not a monkey at all, but an orangutan. Learn the difference between apes and monkeys. Hear funny but true stories about orangutans or other animals, and in the process appreciate about their biology, the threats facing them in the wild, how people are helping, and what you can do.


Animal Athletes

Hear stories of remarkable animals, such as Fu Manchu, an orangutan who outsmarts his zookeeper, or Rocky, who imitates the ninja moves of Kung Fu Panda. Discover animal superpowers, like a raven's puzzle prowess, or an elephant's feeling feet, or a bear's super sniffer, and then see how you compare through a series of games and puzzles.


Wildlife Forensics:

For middle school, teens and adults, her programs focus on wildlife forensics, wildlife trafficking, wildlife rehabilitation and threats to endangered species. A “CSI for Animals” program would explore field of wildlife forensics. Human and wildlife forensics are similar in that they both use science to link a suspect to a crime scene and victim. Yet there's a big difference. While human forensic scientists deal with just one species of victim -- Homo sapiens -- wildlife forensic scientists have to deal with thousands. Laurel explains how this innovative science uses a variety of techniques, including morphology, chemistry, genetic analysis (DNA) and more, to solve crimes against wildlife. She incorporates real life stories from around the world and combines that with some hands on exploration using feathers, hair, skulls and other bones.


Taking Action

Kids can have a lot of influence and there is much they can do, either to help animals or vis-a-vis any other issue that they're passionate about. These actions can be simple, from doing school presentation to sharing articles on social media to letter writing campaigns to starting petitions. Laurel shares real-life stories of kids who have taken action with amazing results and provides guidance for how to take action in your own community.


Writing Workshops

Laurel shares her writing skills and provides insights into the world of publishing books and articles. She can discuss how to research effectively, how to make a true event into a story, how to conduct interviews, and revisions, among other topics. She takes participants through the process and shows how an idea becomes a book or series of articles, what’s necessary to get it into shape changes over time, and what happens after publication.


To schedule a school visit, please contact Laurel at Laurel (at)

Fees are flexible.


Short bio for Laurel:

Laurel Neme writes regularly for National Geographic and New York Times Magazine for Kids. She is the author of The Elephant's New Shoe, a children’s picture book about the rescue of an elephant who needs a prosthetic foot, and Animal Investigators: How the World's First Wildlife Forensics Lab is Solving Crimes and Saving Endangered Species, a non-fiction “CSI for wildlife” for adults with a foreword by Richard Leakey and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Laurel has appeared on ABC News Nightline, NPR's Science Friday,WCAX and VPR's Vermont Edition. among others. She’s traveled widely across Africa and volunteers close to home at Outreach for Earth Stewardship helping to rehabilitate raptors. She has a PhD from Princeton University.