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Shell Museum announces program schedule for early season

By Staff | Oct 25, 2010

On Monday, the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum announced the Program Schedule for the first three months of the 2010-11 season.

“Our program schedule includes a wide variety of topics,” reported Diane Thomas, public programs specialist. “In addition to lectures, there are interactive programs and several field trips.”

Among the upcoming offerings are:

“The Friday Lunch Hour At The Museum” — Every second Friday of the month, join your Museum friends for a bag lunch and presentation on various shelling and current event topics from noon to 1 p.m. Admission is free (bring a bag lunch).

“How Do Mollusks Munch Their Lunch?” — On Nov. 12, Joyce Matthys will present this program. Many people are intrigued by the little animals called mollusks that create shells. Joyce’s program will give attendees a look at a specialized body part that no other animals on earth have except mollusks – a radials. When magnified, this eating tool takes on the appearance of a feathered work of art. Video footage of mollusks eating will demonstrate exactly how the radula works.

“Florida’s fabulous fossil shells” — On Dec. 10, Sue Sprout will give participants a peek into the past, learning about and discovering what makes a shell a fossil and when and how these animals lived before the Florida peninsula was even formed. Attendees will also visit the Museum’s collection department to view fossil shells and learn how they are curated and preserved for study and enjoyment.

“Celebrate Sanibel” — On Nov. 10 at 2 p.m., José H. Leal, Ph.D., Director/Curator of The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum will lead our discussion. This week-long celebration is designed to commemorate the Island’s past, showcase the present, and envision the future. Organizations like the Museum participate by sponsoring programs that spotlight the quality of life Sanibel supports. “The Shell Museum Turns Fifteen” program is free with Museum admission

“New Museum Volunteer Training Program” — On Nov. 1 from 9:30 a.m. until noon, our staff and highly experienced volunteers help you learn the basics of Mollusks 101. Become a vital part of our educational programs and discover other docent opportunities available at the Museum. Admission is free.

“Adventures In Paradise Shelling Trip” — On Nov. 6, travel to North Captiva for pristine shelling opportunities. This boat trip begins at Port Sanibel Marina. On the return trip, there will be a lunch stop at Barnacle Phil’s Restaurant. Dr. José H. Leal will lead this adventure. Arrive at Port Sanibel Marina at 8:30 a.m. The boat will depart at 9 a.m. and return at 3 p.m. Cost is $55 per person for museum members, $65 per person for non-members (Fee does not include lunch).

“The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum Celebrates 15th Anniversary” — Enjoy “Family Day” at the Museum. To celebrate this milestone anniversary with the community free admission will be offered all day on Nov. 20, along with special programming for the public, as follows:

“Storytellers Share The History Of The Museum And Take You Under The Sea” — Sanibel’s acclaimed author Charlie Sobczak will help participants experience first fifteen years of the Shell Museum history. Continue this “tellerbration” with story teller Katie Adam’s “Live Under The Sea” program. Presenters are Charlie Sobczak and Katie Adams. This program on Nov. 20 runs from 2 to 3 p.m. Cost is a free-will donation.

“Shells And The Stories They Tell Us” — On Nov. 20 at 4 p.m., Jerry Harasewych, curator of Marine Mollusca at the National Museum of Natural History will lead a special lecture on the living creatures found inside shells. While it is second nature to admire a shell for its shape, color and beauty, it can be just as rewarding to “read” a shell to learn more about the animal that made it. A variety of techniques, ranging from simple observation to detailed isotopic analyses, can be used to interpret the information in shells. The audience is in for a real treat! Dr. Harasewych is a veteran diver and has used research submersibles to study and sample deep-sea organisms. Admission is a free-will donation.

“Molluscan Biogeography and the Value of Historical Collections” — A presentation by the 2010 R. Tucker Abbott Visiting Curator Bruce Neville, who devoted part of his life to study wentletraps, a group of mollusks with elegant shells that are common on the eastern beaches of Sanibel. He will discuss wentletraps and how shell collections and libraries are important in providing the much-needed historical background for his studies. This Dec. 1 program begins at 2 p.m. and is free with Museum admission.

“Dig Into Florida’s Under The Sea Past As You Explore Layers Of Shells On A Fossil Trip To Big Island Excavating” — This field trip on Dec. 11 will be hosted by Dr. Gary Schmelz. Meet at the Museum at 7:30 a.m. to carpool. Group will meet Gary in Naples at 8:30 a.m. Trip will be followed by a group lunch at Longhorns. Depart Naples at 3 p.m. for a 4 p.m. Sanibel arrival. Registration required. (minimum 10 participants/maximum 20 participants) For specific information about what tools to bring or what to wear, contact Diane Orvis Thomas, Public Program Specialist, at 395-2233. Cost is $23 per participant (does not include transportation or lunch).

For additional information, visit www.shellmuseum.org.