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Refuge’s free lecture series set to kick off

By REFUGE / DDWS - | Jan 6, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Photographer-artists Clyde and Niki Butcher will present images from the Everglades on Feb. 4.

The 17th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series is evolving with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to a larger venue, The Community House on Sanibel. The free lectures will occur on five select days with one 10 a.m. lecture per day.

Running Jan. 29 to March 19, the series will feature photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, “Feather Thief” author Kirk W. Johnson, and eminent authorities on water conservation, eagles and owls.

“The uncertainties of COVID-19 challenged us to experiment with a new lecture series format so we could accommodate high-quality lecturers but still abide by new distancing guidelines,” Ann-Marie Wildman, lecture series organizer and manager of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s Nature Store, said. “We would be very limited on how many we could seat at our usual venue in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium, but The Community House gives us more latitude. So, we’ve decided on fewer lectures with top-notch speakers.”

Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis. About 200 seats will be available.

Face masks will be required.

The complete schedule is as follows:

– Jan. 29: Ocean Doctor David E. Guggenheim, “Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters,” sponsored by HighTower/Thomas and Swartz Wealth Management

– Feb. 4: Photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, “The Everglades,” sponsored by Wayne and Linda Boyd

– Feb. 19: Author Jack Davis, “The Bald Eagle: Symbol and Species in American History,” sponsored by Southwest Florida Eagle Cam*

– March 12: Author Paul Bannick, “Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History,” sponsored by Bill and Laurie Harkey*

– March 19: Author Kirk W. Johnson, “Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century,” sponsored by Ashton Kirchner Group/Keller Williams Realty Sanibel and Captiva, HighTower/Thomas and Swartz Wealth Management, Geoffrey and Karen Moss, and Sanibel Carts*

*book signing to follow

For lectures with book signings to follow, books will be available for purchase that day. Profits from the sales will benefit research and conservation at the refuge.

The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will film all of the lectures and broadcast them on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/dingdarling.

For more information, visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.

The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.