The executive director of Earthplace will take a "global" perspective of the natural history museum's half-century of history when he speaks Friday to the Westport Sunrise Rotary.

John Horkel will address the Rotary chapter when it convenes at 7:30 a.m. in Bobby Q's Restaurant, 42 Main St. There is a $12 fee, which includes a breakfast buffet. Guests are welcome.

Earthplace marked its 50th anniversary in 2008, and Horkel -- the organization's executive director since 1985 -- will present a historical perspective -- how the institution has changed over the years, its current status and what the future holds.

Earthplace was founded in 1958 with a mission of educating the community about nature and the environment, and ways to preserve, protect and enjoy the natural world.

Earthplace comprises a natural history museum and 62-acre wildlife sanctuary with trails and wildlife. It hosts public nature programs and events, including a state-licensed preschool and summer camp, a wildlife rehabilitation program, and the Harbor Watch/River Watch water-quality testing program.

Prior to coming to Westport, Horkel was executive director of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center in Texas and prior to that he was general curator of the Texas Zoo in Victoria, Texas. He holds a PhD in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University, a certificate in zoo and aquarium management from the University of North Carolina's Professional Education Program, and a certificate in business management from the Houston Baptist University Professional Education Program.

For more information about Westport Sunrise Rotary, visit the club's website,; call the club's "hotline" at 203-454-6446; contact Sheila Keenan, membership chairwoman, at 203-856 -172,; or attend a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Bobby Q's Restaurant.