The 2022 Coastal Lecture Series is here!
Join us on Tuesday evenings during January, February, and March as we connect you with scientists, historians, and storytellers for another season of world-class lectures.
Based on the recent uptick in COVID cases in Florida, we have decided to switch back to an all-virtual format. At this time, lectures will only be streamed live using Zoom, and there will not be an in-person audience. We apologize for this change in plans, but we are hopeful that you will still enjoy this year’s presentations while viewing from the comfort of your own home.
Please register for each individual lecture you wish to attend below. Presentations will begin at 6:30 p.m.
If you have any questions, please contact Director of Education Dr. Zack Jud at email@example.com.
*Scroll down to watch recordings of previous Coastal Lecture Series presentations.
January 18, 2022
Florida's Waters – Current Outlook and Future Plans
2021 was a year filled with optimism for Florida’s waters, including a summer without Lake Okeechobee discharges, and positive movement towards meaningful restoration of water flow through the Everglades. Get caught up on the current health of our local waterways, and see how efforts to improve the management of Lake Okeechobee are progressing.
Presented by: Mark Perry, Executive Director, Florida Oceanographic Society
January 25, 2022
Conservation of a Prehistoric Fish: Atlantic Tarpon in the Anthropocene
Tarpon have been swimming in Earth’s oceans for 100 million years, yet today, they are increasingly threatened by habitat loss, water quality declines, and overfishing. Learn how Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is using high-tech and low-tech solutions to track tarpon migrations and identify critical juvenile habitats, all in an effort to protect and conserve this ancient and emblematic gamefish species.
Presented by: Dr. Aaron Adams, Director of Science and Conservation, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust; Senior Scientist, FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
February 1, 2022
Restoring Native Clam Communities for Improved Water Quality and Economic Resiliency in the Indian River Lagoon
Persistent algae blooms, high nutrient loads, and poor water quality are pushing the health of the Indian River Lagoon – one of the most diverse estuaries in North America – to an ecological tipping point. See how researchers are breeding and releasing “superclams” that are resilient to algae blooms in an attempt to filter the estuary’s waters and improve ecosystem health.
Presented by: Dr. Todd Osborne, Associate Professor, Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida
February 8, 2022
Mysterious Manta Rays of Florida
Did you know that Florida’s coastal waters are home to both a rare manta ray nursery habitat and a large seasonal aggregation of adult manta rays? Learn about the Florida Manta Project, the first dedicated study of Florida’s manta rays, and find out more about manta ray biology as well as efforts to protect and conserve mantas here in Florida and around the globe.
Presented by: Jessica Pate, Research Scientist & Country Manager, Marine Megafauna Foundation
February 15, 2022
Disney’s Role in Conserving our Planet and our Own Backyard
Find out about Disney’s Animal, Science, and Environment team, which is responsible for the care and wellbeing of domestic, zoo, and aquarium animals that are part of Disney experiences worldwide. See how this unique Walt Disney team also works to protect and conserve wildlife and wild places around the globe and right here in our own Florida backyard.
Presented by: Dr. Scott Terrell, Director of Animal and Science Operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide
February 22, 2022
The Loxa-Lucie Headwaters - Continuing the History of Preserving Environmentally Valuable Lands in Martin County
Since the 1970s, Martin County residents have been leaders in preserving environmentally valuable lands. Learn about a new initiative to protect the headwaters of Kitching Creek and the north-flowing South Fork of the St. Lucie River, and how we can all be a part of addressing the challenges of land preservation and climate change resiliency in 2022 and beyond.
Presented by: Greg Braun, Certified Environmental Professional, Sustainable Ecosystems International
March 1, 2022
From Seeds to Shoreline: Nursery Production of Spartina alterniflora for Salt Marsh Restoration
Coastal salt marshes protect shorelines from storms and provide vital nursery habitat for commercially important fish and seafood, but these habitats are being threatened by human activities and global climate change. Learn about efforts to propagate smooth cordgrass from wild-collected seeds as part of a project that aims to restore degraded salt marshes while simultaneously cleaning up aquaculture waste.
Presented by: Dr. Heather Joesting, Associate Professor, Georgia Southern University
March 8, 2022
South Florida Octopuses: From Behavior to Bacteria
Octopuses, often described as the most intelligent of the invertebrate animals, are charismatic, captivating, and exhibit many unique traits and behaviors that fascinate scientists and the public alike. Discover the surprising ways that two local octopus species coexist just beneath the surface of Lake Worth Lagoon at Blue Heron Bridge.
Presented by: Dr. Chelsea Bennice, Affiliate Assistant Scientist, Florida Atlantic University
March 15, 2022
In the Bedroom of the Shark: Underwater Mating and Dating in the Florida Keys
Dive in to learn more about the fascinating story of nurse shark courtship and mating from a world-renowned shark biologist. This story will focus on the only systematic study of shark mating that has ever occurred for any species anywhere in the world, and will include incredible underwater photos and videos, as well as a strong conservation message.
Presented by: Dr. Jeffrey Carrier, Professor Emeritus of Biology, Albion College; Adjunct Research Scientist, Center for Shark Research, Mote Marine Laboratory
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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