Coastal Lecture Series

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The 2021 Coastal Lecture Series is going virtual!!!

Join us every Tuesday evening, from January 5th through March 9th, as we use Zoom to stream world-class live lectures right into the comfort of your home.  These free lectures will keep you connected with science and the environment, even though COVID-19 has temporarily suspended our traditional in-person get togethers.  You will experience the same fantastic caliber of speakers that you’ve come to expect from the Coastal Lecture Series, via your computer. 

Lectures will be held Tuesday evenings from 6:30-7:45 pm.  If you have any questions, please contact Director of Education Dr. Zack Jud at

Last year’s Coastal Lecture Series broke our all-time attendance record, with more than 1,700 guests in attendance.  By using technology to reach a broader audience, we hope to see even more of you as regulars in our “virtual audience” this year. 

* Scroll down to watch the recorded presentations from last year's Coastal Lecture Series. 


2021 Coastal Lecture Series Schedule
Please register for each lecture you would like to attend.
Zack Jud
January 5, 2021
Florida’s Invasive Reptiles and Amphibians

Although invasive pythons make for good front-page news, Florida’s issues with invasive reptiles and amphibians are much more complex.  Find out what a state with more introduced reptile and amphibian species than anywhere else on earth – including some species that may surprise you – can teach us about global invasions.

Presented by: Dr. Zack Jud, Director of Education, Florida Oceanographic Society

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

Dan McCarthy and Ken Lindeman
January 12, 2021
Islands in the Sand:  Nearshore Hardbottom Reefs of East Florida

Dive in to learn about the fascinating network of nearshore reefs that lies hidden just feet off of our local shorelines.  Running the length of Florida’s east coast, from Miami to St. Augustine, these fragile reefs made of coquina and living worm rock provide a home to dozens of plant and animal species, protect our shorelines from storms, and offer a range of recreational opportunities for coastal citizens.

Presented by: Dr. Dan McCarthy, Professor, Jacksonville University and Dr. Ken Lindeman, Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

Lorae Simpson
January 19, 2021
Florida’s Mangroves Move North in the Absence of Winter Freezes

See how Florida’s emblematic mangrove forests are shifting north in response to a warming climate.  This northward expansion may help to protect coastal communities against sea level rise and severe weather events like hurricanes, while simultaneously removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from our atmosphere – all critical factors as we face the reality of a warmer future.

Presented by: Dr. Loraé Simpson, Director of Scientific Research and Conservation, Florida Oceanographic Society

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

kenny broad
January 26, 2021
Exploring the Invisible: Blue Holes of The Bahamas

Discover the mysteries and breathtaking beauty of the difficult-to-access underwater caves of The Bahamas with 2011’s National Geographic Explorer of the Year.  These time capsules can help us learn about the earliest forms of life, reveal information about past climate fluctuations, and provide a window into the future of our water resources.

Presented by: Dr. Kenny Broad, Professor, University of Miami

Valerie Paul
February 2, 2021
Indian River Lagoon Research at the Smithsonian Marine Station

America’s most biodiverse estuary runs right through our backyard.  Learn about Indian River Lagoon research being conducted at the Smithsonian Marine Station, and see how human population growth in the region has impacted the estuary’s health, leading to algae blooms, fish kills, and seagrass loss.

Presented by: Dr. Valerie Paul, Head Scientist, Smithsonian Marine Station

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

Gordon Patterson
February 9, 2021
Living in the Zika Latitudes: Mosquitoes, Humans, and Emerging Pathogens

Step back in time to learn about Florida’s century-long battle to control mosquitoes – efforts that have had significant ecological consequences in coastal Florida.  See how globalization, population growth, and climate change will dramatically increase the peril posed by mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus and dengue fever in the future. 

Presented by: Dr. Gordon Patterson, Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now 

Steve Noll
February 16, 2021
Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal & the Struggle for Florida’s Future

Dig into the long and convoluted history of an effort to cross the Florida peninsula by cutting a waterway from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico, starting with the Ocklawaha River in the 19th century.  See how an environmental movement stopped the canal before it was completed, eventually allowing the cleared land to become an expansive greenway.

Presented by: Dr. Steve Noll, Master Lecturer, University of Florida

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

Dr Robert Knight
February 23, 2021
Making Florida's Springs Great Again

Florida’s surface water issues have had a huge impact on our state’s underground water resources.  See how the health of Florida’s magical springs is being threatened by pollution and population growth.

Presented by: Dr. Robert Knight, Executive Director, Florida Springs Institute

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

tonya wiley
March 2, 2021
Florida’s Endangered Smalltooth Sawfish: Past, Present, and Future

Learn about the prehistoric and critically endangered smalltooth sawfish, which calls Florida’s coastal waters – including the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Estuary – home.  Find out how scientists are using cutting-edge research and global conservation efforts to protect sawfish from extinction.

Presented by: Tonya Wiley, President, Havenworth Coastal Conservation

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

Annie Page-Karjian
March 9, 2021
Marine Megafauna Health Assessments: Insights into Marine Ecosystem Health

See how sea turtles, dolphins, and whales are affected by harmful algae blooms, pollution, contaminants, and infectious diseases.  By studying the health of marine wildlife, researchers are able to get a finger on the pulse of the health of the ocean and coastal waterways like the Indian River Lagoon.

Presented by: Dr. Annie Page-Karjian, Assistant Research Professor & Clinical Veterinarian, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Click Here to Watch Recorded Presentation Now

January 7, 2020

Sea Level Rise - Fact and Fiction

With coastal Florida already feeling the effects of sea level rise, find out how small changes in sea level might impact our state – and the rest of the planet – in the not-to-distant future.  This eye-opening crash course on sea level rise will provide a clear and easy to understand summary of the risks associated with increased flooding due to rising seas, extreme tides, and severe storms, as well as suggestions for “intelligent adaptation” to live in a flood-prone world.

Presented by: John Englander, Internationally Recognized Oceanographer, Author, and Sea Level Rise Expert


January 14, 2020

Hope for Healthier Waters in the Sunshine State: Update 2019

Get caught up on the current health of our local waterways, and see how larger efforts to restore the Everglades are progressing.  Florida’s waters have faced a few difficult years in a row, but 2019 was different.  Positive changes in the management of Lake Okeechobee resulted in cleaner waters in our coastal estuaries this summer.  Florida’s voters have asked for healthier water, and we’re finally seeing movement in the right direction. 

Presented by: Mark Perry, Executive Director, Florida Oceanographic Society


sandy thurlow
JANUARY 21, 2020

Images Documenting the History of Hutchinson Island

Our island paradise has seen many changes over the last 100+ years.  Step back in time to see what Hutchinson Island looked like before condominiums replaced oak hammocks, as viewed through the eyes of Sandy’s personal collection of incredible historical photos and gifted storytelling.

Presented by:  Sandy Thurlow, Noted Author and Historian


ellen prager
February 4, 2020

The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter

Dive in to learn more about some of the oceans’ weirdest, wackiest, most wonderful – and most important – creatures.  Laugh while you learn about strange and fascinating organisms, their bizarre lifestyles, and why marine species are critical to both the ocean and human society. Based on the book Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime, this talk takes an entertaining look at marine biodiversity, its relevance to the average person, and why ocean life is now at risk.

Presented by: Dr. Ellen Prager, Internationally Recognized Marine Scientist and Author


michael grace
February 11, 2020

Light in the Sea: Extremes of Vision in Marine Giants

Did you know that Tarpon see in color far better than people do, while right whales cannot see color at all and may be blind in bright light?  Some of the most charismatic marine megafauna - giants of the sea - are shedding new light on the mechanisms of vision in animals and people.  See how vision in large marine animals differs from human vision, and how insights into marine vision may help us understand visual disorders in humans. 

Presented by:  Dr. Michael Grace, Professor Emeritus, Florida Institute of Technology


erick ault
FEBRUARY 25, 2020

FWC Tequesta Field Laboratory – Local Research, Monitoring and More

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Tequesta Field Laboratory is conducting amazing fish and wildlife research right in our backyard.  Learn about the history of the lab and the work currently being conducted by FWC scientists in our region, with a focus on tracking the movements, behaviors, and population dynamics of some of our favorite marine gamefish species – research that helps to drive critical management decisions.

Presented by: Erick Ault, Research Administrator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission


March 3, 2020

Deepwater Horizon – Ten Years Later

Discover the lasting impacts of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill on the unique and important deep sea creatures that call the Gulf of Mexico home.  This research work, which started nearly a decade ago, will give us a glimpse into the secret lives of bizarre fish and invertebrates that live thousands of feet below the surface of the Gulf – species that were at ground zero in the days and years following the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Presented by: Dr. Jon Moore, Professor, Florida Atlantic University


March 10, 2020

The boys are back in town: Seasonal aggregations of blacktip sharks in southeast Florida

Every winter, thousands of blacktip sharks migrate to coastal waters in south Florida.  While it’s not uncommon to see these sharks leaping and spinning in the air just off our beaches, the reason they choose to winter in our part of Florida is the focus of much scientific research.  See how scientists are tracking the movements of these important predators, and how climate change may affect their migratory patterns. 

Presented by:  Dr. Stephen Kajiura, Professor, Florida Atlantic University