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- Long Island Sound
Hear a unique and challenging perspective on ocean conservation – and on the state of the sciences in general – from this “renegade naturalist."
Dr. Botkin is a scientist who studies life from a planetary perspective, a biologist who has helped solve major environmental issues, and a writer about nature. Bluntly on his website, he says: “I believe we are mostly on the wrong track in the way we try to deal with the environment. Everything I do, study, learn, and advise about the environment is different from the status quo.”
Botkin’s books and lectures assert that our cultural legacy often dominates what we believe to be scientific solutions. Pulling from his decades of research in ecological sciences and his experiences directing large-scale projects to deal with environmental problems, Botkin will discuss what we tend to do wrong and how we can do better.
Dr. Botkin is professor emeritus of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was founder and president of The Center for the Study of the Environment, a non-profit research and educational corporation.
He is perhaps best known for the development of the first successful computer simulation in ecology, a computer model of forest growth that has developed into a sub-discipline in this field, with more than 50 versions in use worldwide.
His books include “Discordant Harmonies” (1990), “The Moon in the Nautilus Shell: Discordant Harmonies Reconsidered” (2012) and “Strange Encounters: Adventures of a Renegade Naturalist” (2003).
Dr. Botkin's Maritime Aquarium topic will be “What I've Learned in 45 Years as an Ecological Scientist About How to Solve Environmental Problems.”
Tickets are $20 ($15 for Aquarium members).
It’s only natural that Dr. Martin Nweeia, a dentist in Sharon, CT, has an interest in teeth. But he has a particular side interest in a tooth of note: the long single spiraling tusk of the mysterious, almost mythical narwhal.
Nweeia is principal investigator and founder of the Narwhal Tooth Expeditions and Research Investigation, whose aim is to determine the purpose and function of narwhal tusks, which can extend up to 9 feet long.
The narwhal (Monodon monoceros) has been called “the unicorn of the sea.” It’s one of the rarest whales in the world. Narwhals are elusive and mysterious, and very distinct in appearance because of their large tusk, which actually is a tooth that grows from the upper jaw of males. Not counting their tusks, they grow to 13 to 18 feet long (similar to their cousin, the beluga) and tend to live in large pods in Arctic waters.
Nweeia directs expedition field studies, laboratory analysis and a traditional study of Inuit and Greenlandic elders ... all to address the scientific enigma of the narwhal tusk that has puzzled the science world for over 200 years. His work on narhwals has been featured in several national magazines, and he was one of the investigators included in the 2005 National Geographic documentary “Masters of the Arctic Ice.” (He also was featured by National Geographic as its “Explorer of the Week” online in late September 2012.)
Tickets are $10 ($8 for Aquarium members).
Adventurer and animal expert "Jungle Jack" Hanna is one of the most visible and respected ambassadors between the human and animal worlds. His hands-on approach and insight into the public's appreciation of wildlife have won him widespread popular acclaim as director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, conservationist, author, television personality, celebrity speaker, and lifelong adventurer.
(The True Story of My Journeys with Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the Crew of Calypso) The author of "Frogmen" grew up in Connecticut. He will talk about his personal account of expeditions with legendary French explorer Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the crew of the research vessel Calypso. Richard Hyman will take us behind the scenes, inside the ship, and under the sea.
Tickets are $10 ($8 for Aquarium members).
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To reserve your seat as a Season Subscriber, call Griffin at 203-852-0700, x2277.