Lecture Series Information
Origins and Future of our Estuary and Tidal Wetlands
Tuesday, May 2, 5:00 PM
Old Lyme Town Hall
In our Fall 2016 Lecture Series, we learned that those of us who live along the 41st parallel sit at what is anticipated to be the epicenter of the most severely impacted zone of sea level rise due to climate change. Our speaker, David Kozak, senior coastal planner with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, has been working on interpreting what this means for our coastal communities. Kozak is the lead engineer of the Sea Level Affecting Marsh Migration (SLAMM) model that is used to evaluate sea level rise impacts on specific pieces of property.
His remarks will address the origins of our coastal marshes, the physical and biological processes that sustain them, how they contribute to the health of the estuary, how they defend against rising sea levels, and how we can breach their migration barriers. RSVP here.
A Connecticut River Mystery Revealed
Tuesday, May 9, 4:00 PM
Essex Meadows’ Hamilton Hall
A migratory fish of prehistoric origin, the Atlantic Sturgeon, once a staple of the Native American diet, is born in fresh water river environs and spends much of its life in the open ocean. When mature, at age 12-20 years, it returns to its natal river to spawn. Thought for over a century to be extinct in the waters of the Connecticut River, a combination of factors, including alert fishermen and modern science, confirmed that this is not so. Our speaker, Kimberly Damon-Randall, is a native of Deep River, Connecticut and now serves as the Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
Damon-Randall will focus on the significance of these findings and the key steps contributing to the re-discovery of the Atlantic Sturgeon in our species-rich river. She will also explain why NOAA has designated the Connecticut River a “Critical Habitat” for the Atlantic Sturgeon, and how this designation should protect this federally listed, endangered species.
In this lecture, we are joined by our colleagues from the Connecticut River Museum, which is currently exhibiting the story of another iconic migratory fish, the American Shad. RSVP here.
The Origins of Citizen Science: John Jay Audubon, A Self-made Man
Thursday, May 16, 5:00 PM
Lyme Art Association
John Jay Audubon’s The Birds of North America, stands as an unparalleled achievement in American art, a tome that features the beauty and drama of nature, life-sized, on each “elephant folio” page.
Historian and author of the most recent biography: John Jay Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman, Dr. Gregory Nobles shows that Audubon’s greatest creation was himself, a self-made man incessantly striving to secure his place in American society. Dr. Noble will relate how America’s first celebrity naturalist engaged the assistance of ordinary people to assist his work. While not all the ornithological information was reliable, he built a network of citizen scientists, a movement that exists today and is well known in our area.
Dr. Noble is Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of History and Sociology and is the Mellon Distinguish Scholar in Resident at the American Antiquarian Society. RSVP here.