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Refuge, DDWS to kick off annual lecture series for free

By REFUGE / DDWS - | Jan 20, 2021

TODD WARSHAW Ocean Doctor David E. Guggenheim will present “Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters” on Jan. 29.

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.

“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.”

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. As founder of the nonprofit organization Ocean Doctor, dedicated to advancing ocean conservation worldwide, David E. Guggenheim will share “Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters” at the first lecture of the season.

A marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer, submarine pilot and educator, Guggenheim is also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and creator of the Cuba Conservancy. He has worked in Cuba for over 20 years leading collaborative research and conservation efforts focused on advancing economically and environmentally sustainable solutions for coastal communities to protect and sustain coral reef ecosystems.

Socially-distanced seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Staff will distribute 175 entry wristbands to drive-by attendees starting at 9 a.m.; doors open at 9:40 a.m.

PHOTO PROVIDED On Feb. 4, Clyde and Niki Butcher will talk about the Everglades following the 2020 publication of Clyde Butcher’s latest photographic triumph and as a sneak peek to Niki Butcher’s refuge exhibition starting November.

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*

DEBBIE THOMAS Author Jack Davis with present “The Bald Eagle: Symbol and Species in American History” on Feb. 19.

– 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.

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

PHOTO PROVIDED On March 12, author Paul Bannick will present “Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History.”

The Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

MARIE-JOSEE CANTIN JOHNSON Author Kirk W. Johnson will present “Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century” on March 19.

TODD WARSHAW Ocean Doctor David E. Guggenheim will present “Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters” on Jan. 29.