Videos and Livestreams - Lunchtime Lecture Series

The NCDEQ Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs hosts a guest lecture series called the "Lunchtime Discovery," hosted and streamed with our partners at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Professionals from a wide range of environmental fields give presentations about their work and participate in a live moderated question and answer chat with viewers. Topics range from spider diversity in North Carolina to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to how to incorporate music in environmental education programming. 

The are several recorded presentations on a wide variety of environmental topics that can be used in the classroom to supplement existing lessons on ecosystems, natural resources, and North Carolina history. 

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November schedule for Lunchtime Discovery Series

                   

Tab/Accordion Item

Dr. Bronwyn Williams, Research Curator, Non-Molluscan Invertebrates, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Dr. Michael Kendrick, Assistant Marine Scientist, Crustacean Research and Monitoring Section, SCDNR Marine Resources Research Institute

The southeastern United States is a global hotspot for crayfish diversity. Among the most diverse groups of crayfishes in this region is the genus Procambarus, with 16 and seven species native to South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively. Yet, Procambarus species in the Carolinas are also among the most data deficient, and therefore enigmatic, in part due to a complex taxonomic history. Ironically, these species are facing a serious conservation threat from a non-native counterpart, the Red Swamp Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii. Our collaboration couples extensive field surveys with genetic and morphological analyses to understand the diversity of native crayfishes, the recent spread of the invasive crayfish, and the impacts of the invader on native species.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 19, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK
 

several photos of Bronwyn and other staff sampling for crayfish

 

John A. Gerwin, Research Curator, Ornithology, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The Uwharries region stretches from Asheboro southwest to Morrow Mountain State Park. Within this area we find a good bit of geological and biological diversity which can be enjoyed within a variety of State and Federal lands. Our speaker, John Gerwin, has conducted bird research in this area since 2011, and in his spare time there he documents a lot of other organisms, some of which are unknown to science.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK
 

left: Tabanus catch in net Middle: stand of longleaf pines right: Swainson's Warbler

 

Ron Sutherland, Chief Scientist, Wildlands Network

Red wolves are one of the rarest mammal species in the world, with only around 17 to 20 individuals currently left in the wild, all in eastern North Carolina. Dr. Ron Sutherland has been working to promote the recovery of red wolves since 2012, and he also launched an ongoing field study of red wolf ecology and prey dynamics in 2015. Ron will present some of the lessons he’s learned and insights he’s gained over the past decade, including new recommendations for kickstarting recovery efforts for this incredibly important, often misunderstood species.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

red wolf - three photos

 

Falyn Owens, Extension Wildlife Biologist, NC Wildlife Resources Commission

North Carolina is home to a broad diversity of nocturnal wildlife species, many of which live around us without our notice. Falyn Owens will discuss what “nocturnal” really means and share stories from the local biologists responsible for monitoring and conserving some of these elusive critters here in North Carolina.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 
WATCH THIS TALK

owlets, skunk and tree frog

Sarah Sanford, Former Program Coordinator, NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs

Sarah worked for the NCDEQ Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs in 2018 and 2019 as the office’s program coordinator. After moving to Berlin, Germany, Sarah continued her environmental education training through a totally new lens. This virtual presentation will delve into Umwelterziehung, aka environmental education in Germany. Sarah will also give an overview of the German approach to outdoor learning and education in general. Stop in to learn about EE in the country that put the “garden” in kindergarten!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 
WATCH THIS TALK

kids in a creek in Germany, Sarah Sanford, sign

Dr. Rachel L. Smith, Head, Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Lab, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Astronomer Dr. Rachel Smith will use new software called OpenSpace to take you on a virtual tour from Earth to our neighboring planets, and far beyond the solar system. As we fly through space, Dr. Smith will discuss the search for life beyond Earth and planetary analogues to Earth’s extreme environments. She will also include some of her own research from ground-based observatories, and explain how scientists visualize the known Universe using data from planetary probes, satellites, and telescopes.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Dr. Rachel Smith, mars

 

Seth C. Hawkins, MD
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University
Associate Director, Wake Forest University Wilderness Medicine Fellowship
Medical Director, NC State Parks, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
US Forest Service Local Emergency Medical Advisor, North Carolina Forests and Wilderness Areas
Medical Advisor, North Carolina Outward Bound School

Among many things, living in a pandemic taught us how critical outdoor spaces are to our health and wellness. When many other North Carolina governmental entities closed, most NC State Parks and national parks, forests, and wilderness areas remained open throughout much of the pandemic. However, in the midst of record volumes of visitors, this experience also reinforced the value of modern wilderness medicine and risk management principles in preventing and managing injuries and illness in outdoor spaces in North Carolina. Dr. Hawkins will discuss how to optimize safety and quality medical care in North Carolina wilderness environments.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

rescuers practicing swift water rescue, Seth Hawkins, rescuers in front of helicopter

Rona Kobell, Co-founder of the Environmental Justice Journalism Institute, based in Baltimore, Maryland

When we think of environmental justice, we think of its roots in North Carolina – fighting large industrial polluters moving to Black and lower-income neighborhoods. But environmental injustices are far more pervasive and systematic than that and can impact culture and history just as they harm air and water. The work of the Environmental Justice Journalism Institute in rural communities builds on other research and reporting to show how, why, and what we can do to stop it.                        
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, August 17, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS LIVE

Rona Kobell, a church in Maryland, flooded and destroyed grave

 

Srijana Guilford, Waste Strategy and Impact Consultant, Town of Cary
Megan Holler, Cary Community Co-Director, Toward Zero Waste
Christine Wittmeier, Organics Recycling Specialist, NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS)

North Carolina generates 2.5 million tons of food waste per year and the state has made reducing that amount of waste a priority. This year, with a grant from the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s DEACS, Cary launched a food waste recycling drop-off service. Partnering with a local non-profit to help develop outreach and education, this effort has resulted in over 3500 drop-offs and nearly 11 tons of material collected for composting within four months. Join us to hear how one community is taking a bite out of food waste and learn about resources available from the state to support your community’s efforts.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, August 10 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Cary's composting station, compost bin, instructions for composting

Elizabeth Fensin, Algal Ecologist and Dan Wiltsie, Algal Bloom Response Coordinator, Division of Water Resources, NC Department of Environmental Quality 

Algae are found in all aquatic systems and are an essential food source for many organisms, but under some conditions, they can reproduce rapidly and form blooms that cause major changes in water chemistry. These changes can be harmful to the ecosystem and to human health. Join two scientists from the NC DEQ’s Division of Water Resources to learn about the biology and ecology of algae, why algae blooms occur and how the Algae Lab studies and monitors this phenomenon.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Coordinator of Current Science Programs Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, August 3 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS LIVE

photo of green algae in water, water samples and algae under a microscope

William Reckling, PhD Candidate, NC State University Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

What do rare plants, septic system failures and algal blooms have in common? They can all be monitored by drones! Typical environmental monitoring methods can be labor-intensive, disruptive of the landscape, or hazardous to personnel. As drones become more commonly used across scientific disciplines, we can identify new applications of this technology. Join us to learn about cutting-edge research which uses drones to locate rare plants, detect leaking septic systems and perform targeted algal bloom sampling.
 
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, July 27 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Will Reckling flying a drone, drone on a dock and invasive species

Dr. Rachel Noble, Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Distinguished Professor of Marine Sciences, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Before March 2020, most people had never heard of wastewater-based epidemiology, also known as wastewater surveillance or wastewater monitoring. Wastewater surveillance is a tool used by public health agencies to test wastewater for compounds or microbes that are of public health interest. The approach provides a community view of the overall levels of infection of a population, and it is not only useful for managing COVID-19, but can also be useful for managing such pathogens as influenza, Salmonella, and E. coli. Dr. Noble’s laboratory has been leading the wastewater surveillance response for the State of North Carolina, partnering with other academic institutions and the NC Department of Health and Human Services. This presentation will highlight the growth of the technology and areas of current development, and will highlight the potential uses of wastewater surveillance in the future.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, July 20 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Dr. Rachel Noble in her lab testing water samples

 

Dr. Joel Fodrie, Institute for Marine Sciences, Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Coastal sharks can be long-lived and highly mobile — i.e., hard to study! — as well as critical drivers and indicators of ecosystem health. Dating back to 1972, the faculty, staff and students of the UNC-CH Institute of Marine Sciences have conducted coastal shark surveys and targeted experimental work near Cape Lookout, NC. This research has highlighted long-term shifts in shark species 
composition and body sizes, important functional diversity regarding the trophic ecology of sharks — both across and within species — and the movement ecology of summertime-resident species at both estuarine and regional scales.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, July 13 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK:

photo of tiger shark and Dr. Joel Fodrie measuring a junvenile shark

K. Ren Rende, Assistant Professor of STEM Technology Education, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Dr. Carlos J. Valle Díaz, Science Communicator, AirPsych
Erin Apple, Coordinator for Youth Programs, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences 

In recognition and celebration of Pride Month, join us virtually to listen to the experiences of LGBTQ+ professionals in STEM. The panelists will share their personal paths to a career in science and to the role of mentors, as well as challenges and successes. This event aims to raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in science and to celebrate diversity in STEM.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, June 29 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

grahic LGBTQ+ STEM Panel

 

Jordan Byrum, Artificial Reef Coordinator, Habitat and Enhancement Section, Division of Marine Fisheries, NC Department of Environmental Quality

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Program has been creating reefs since the 1970s and currently maintains 26 estuarine and 43 ocean reefs. Artificial reefs are placed to provide opportunities for fishing, diving, and as habitat for fish and shellfish species throughout North Carolina’s coastal waters. These reefs contain a variety of materials, including rock, recycled concrete, reef balls and ships. Join us to learn about reefs in our state, how they are constructed, how they are monitored, and the many environmental and recreational benefits reefs provide to coastal North Carolina.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, June 22 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Left: artificial reef; Middle: photo of ship: right: photo of ship placing a reef in the ocean

Dr. Kelly Oten, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, NC State University Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
 
The Spotted Lanternfly is knocking on North Carolina’s door. First detected in Pennsylvania in 2014, this invasive insect is spreading quickly and was recently found very close to our state line. It’s likely just a matter of time until it’s confirmed here. But what will this newest pest mean for our state, and what is being done about it? Join us to learn about this insect’s biology, the many problems it will bring with it, and the survey, management and outreach programs in place.
 
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, June 15 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

left: Lanternfly Middle: Kelley Oten Right: Poolside pest graphic

Patrick Brannon, Outreach Education Specialist and Naturalist, Highlands Biological Station, Western Carolina University

Shrews and other small mammals are frequently trapped in bottles discarded along our highways. Skeletal remains removed from bottles can yield a wealth of data including the geographic distribution of individual species and the effects of littering on wildlife populations. Join us to learn about shrews and rodents, how bottles can be a conservation threat, and various applications of using this method to study small mammals. 
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, June 8 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

left: Shrew middle: Patrick Brannon right: small mammal bones

Dr. Zackary Graham, Postdoctoral Associate, West Liberty University

Once thought to be the magical horns of unicorns, narwhal tusks are one of the most charismatic structures in biology. Despite years of speculation, little is known about the tusk’s function, because narwhals spend most of their lives hidden underneath the Arctic ice. Some people propose that the tusk has sexual functions as a weapon for fighting or as a signal for mate attraction. Other hypotheses propose that the tusk functions as an environmental sensor. Zack Graham will discuss his research on the narwhal tusk and his use of a unique method to try to understand the purpose of the tusk. Join us to learn about the wild history and biology of one of the most bizarre traits in all of biology!
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

June 1, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

left a trio of Narwhals swimming, middle Dr. Graham, right upclose of a Narwhal

Misty Buchanan, Deputy Director for Natural Heritage, Division of Land and Water Stewardship, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The Natural Heritage Program is a small state program with a big mission: to inventory North Carolina’s natural areas and use the information to create a network of nature preserves that will protect our natural heritage for future generations. Misty Buchanan will discuss current research and conservation projects, including how field biologists explore and document North Carolina’s flora and fauna; how we determine which species are common and secure versus rare and imperiled; and how the Natural Heritage Program works across North Carolina to create land conservation agreements with government agencies, land trusts, and private landowners.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

May 18 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK 

misty buchanan with field guide

Dr. Tracy S. Feldman, Associate Professor of Biology at St. Andrews University - a branch of Webber International University

On leaves in the forest, in your own backyard, or even on your front lawn, hundreds of tiny insects called leaf miners are living their lives under the radar. Some of these species are new to science. Join us to learn about some recent discoveries related to a world of creatures most people never see and find out how scientists know when a species is new to science.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, May 11 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Chris Goforth, Head of Citizen Science, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Jerry Reynolds, Head of Outreach, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Dr. Clyde Sorenson, Alumni Association Distinguished Undergraduate Professor 
of Entomology, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University

Learn about the wonderful diversity of fireflies in North Carolina and their amazing biology. The Synchronous Firefly and Blue Ghost Firefly in our mountains attract thousands of people to watch their dazzling light shows. Learn about the recent discovery of a piedmont form of the Blue Ghost Firefly in the Triangle area, possibly a new species, and how you can join the great Carolina Ghost Hunt. Join scientists, educators, and citizens on this hunt to discover where they live, their habitat requirements, and more about their life history. You may discover them living right in your backyard!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, May 4 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

three fireflies

 

Ron Sutherland, Chief Scientist, Wildlands Network

Dr. Sutherland will present the case for reconnecting, rewilding, and restoring natural habitats to save biodiversity and prevent extinctions. Centuries of habitat loss and roadbuilding have taken their toll on ecosystems around the world, and the resulting fragmentation poses a huge obstacle to climate change adaptation and day-to-day survival. Fortunately, there is a solution: we can do far more to stitch the remaining wild landscapes back together into functional networks, creating wildlife corridors and installing wildlife road crossings to boost habitat connectivity. By scaling these efforts up, we can still get to protecting Half-Earth, E.O. Wilson’s audacious and optimistic goal of saving at least 50% of the planet to protect 90% of the Earth’s species from extinction.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

earth from space, Ron Sutherland and EO Wilson, wildlands map

Fault Lines – Art and the Environment 
Linda Johnson Dougherty, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary Art, North Carolina Museum of Art

This multimedia exhibition, on view at the NCMA this spring, features contemporary artists whose works focus on urgent environmental issues. Living and working all over the world, these artists examine a broad range of current concerns, including sustainability and restoration, development and habitat loss, changing climates, and environmental justice. Looking at the consequences of inaction as well as possibilities for environmental stewardship and restoration, they also present alternative ways to move forward that are sustainable and renewable. At a time when it is easy to feel inundated by a 24-hour news stream of critical environmental challenges, the artists in Fault Lines offer the possibility for new perspectives and shifts in understanding of how the natural world is changing.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

artwork from Fault Lines exhibit; Mary Daughtery

Dr. Elizabeth D. Jones, Cretaceous Creatures coordinator and postdoctoral researcher, Paleontology Research Lab, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
 
Join Dr. Jones for the release of her new book to hear the untold story of the rise of the new scientific field of ancient DNA research, and how “Jurassic Park” and popular media influenced its development. She will take you behind the scenes of science and celebrity with the researchers who search for ancient DNA from some of the world’s most interesting creatures.

Wednesday, April 13 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Dr. Elizabeth Jones; cover of her book, Ancient DNA

Mary Alice Holley, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Director of Community Innovation
Kelsi Dew, Town of Princeville, Historical Outreach Coordinator

Princeville has historically been recognized as a town along the Tar River prone to repeated flooding. But through strong leadership, innovative partnerships, and a commitment to conservation, the town is re-defining their story by modeling what it means to be resilient in the face of climate change. Hear from Princeville residents and their nonprofit partners as they share how community leaders have come together to build a resilient future for the people of Princeville, the oldest town chartered by African Americans in the United States.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, April 6 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK 

Community members from Princeville

 

Y. Stacy Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences

Stacy Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher at UNC Institute of Marine Science. In the last decade alone, North Carolina has been impacted by over a dozen hurricanes that have caused substantial damage to human infrastructure, but what happens underwater? Are coastal fishes and habitats resistant to, or recovering from, these massive natural disturbances? And how will this play out in a global change scenario? Join us as Stacy examines whether fish catches and coastal habitats differ between hurricane years and years with no storms, from 2010–2020.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 30 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

left: Stacy Zhang right: ariel of outer banks

Grace Di Cecco, PhD Candidate in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, UNC Chapel Hill

Anyone with a smartphone can contribute observations to global platforms like iNaturalist. What can we learn about how participants make observations of their surroundings from their submissions to iNaturalist, and how does that knowledge inform science based on iNaturalist observations? Join Grace Di Cecco to hear more about how pictures you take on your nature walk can help scientists learn about the biodiversity that surrounds us.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 23 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK:

left: Grace Di Cecco right: caterpillars

Heather Evans, Conservation Geneticist, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Did you know that you can use DNA to identify prey or predators? To determine how many fish stocked into a river system survive? To estimate populations sizes? To identify species living in an ecosystem without actually seeing the species? Join us as Heather Evans, conservation geneticist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission discusses how genetic tools can be used in wildlife management.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 16 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

 

Freya McGregor, Coordinator and Occupational Therapist, Birdability

Birding is an activity that can bring so much joy and empowerment to everybody, but not every body can go birding easily. Learn how this new non-profit uses education, outreach and advocacy to ensure the birding community and the outdoors are welcoming, inclusive, safe and accessible. Birdability strives to introduce birding to people with disabilities and supports people with mobility challenges, blindness or low vision, chronic illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, and those who are neurodivergent, deaf or hard of hearing, or who have other health concerns. Find out how you can become a more welcoming and inclusive birder, how to submit a site review for their Birdability Map and how you can support birders and future birders with accessibility challenges … because birding is for everybody and every body! 
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 9 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Freya McGregor, Accessible trail and signage … or not. Lake Creek Trail, Austin, Texas. Photo by Wayne Jeansonne.

 

Heather Evans, Conservation Geneticist, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Did you know that you can use DNA to identify prey or predators? To determine how many fish stocked into a river system survive? To estimate populations sizes? To identify species living in an ecosystem without actually seeing the species? Join us as Heather Evans, conservation geneticist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission discusses how genetic tools can be used in wildlife management.

Wednesday, March 16 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Heather Evans, Coyote

 

Emily Jarvis, Director, NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Greenville and Contentnea Creek 

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Greenville and Contentnea Creek are the newest branches in the Museum of Natural Sciences’ Regional Network family. This includes a downtown science museum in Greenville, and a 400-acre outdoor learning center in Grifton that features hiking and paddling trails through a variety of habitats, as well as an observatory and a planetarium. Started by John and Nancy Bray as "A Time for Science," the legacy now continues under the direction of Emily Jarvis. Join Emily to learn more about her career path, what inspires her, and the exciting new plans for this nonformal science and environmental education center in Eastern North Carolina.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 2, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Emily Jarvis left photos from Greenville and Contentnea branches

Dr. Stephani Page will discuss the creation of the #BLACKandSTEM community and how it helped shape her career as a scientist and equity professional. She will also examine frameworks for advancing equity in STEM.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Stephani Page left and Black and STEM logo right

Tancred Miller, Policy and Planning Section Chief, Division of Coastal Management, NC Department of Environmental Quality

Tancred Miller, the Policy and Planning Section Chief for the NCDEQ Division of Coastal Management, leads the department’s efforts to respond to the impacts of climate change in coastal communities. Join us to learn more about North Carolina’s actions to improve climate resiliency through a community-driven process that meets the needs of local coastal communities while enhancing their resilience to coastal hazards.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Tancred Miller left middle and right coastal scenes

Derick Lugo, Author, Adventurer, and Host of the Unlikely Stories Podcast

Join us for a visual and humorous look into Derick Lugo’s memoir, “The Unlikely Thru-Hiker,” “the story of a young Black man setting off from the big city with an extremely overweight pack and a willfully can-do attitude.” Derick Lugo, a Brooklyn-born, New York City urbanite who had never hiked, camped or pitched a tent a day in his life, tells the story of leaving the comfort of New York City to tackle 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail. What followed are lessons on preparation, humility, race relations and nature’s wild unpredictability.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Derick Lugo left His book cover middle and Derick right

Earl L. Ijames, Curator, North Carolina Museum of History

Farmer and historian Earl Ijames discusses the term “Tar Heels” and the legacy of the long leaf pine forests. Join us to learn more about efforts to restore this ecosystem and preserve North Carolina’s natural heritage with a real “pitch” for historic conservation.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, February 2 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

WATCH LIVE:
Join us on YouTube!

Earl Ijames and Longleaf pine forest

 

Jeff Hall, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biologist, North Carolina, Wildlife Resources Commission

In 2009, the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NCPARC) developed a brochure called “Rattlesnake Sightings Wanted” and began handing them out at public events. While a few submissions trickled in over the years, during spring and summer of 2020, staff received over one hundred sightings from the public. These reports led to over seventy new rattlesnake locations for both Timber and Pigmy Rattlesnakes. This community science effort bloomed even further in 2021 with nearly 300 sightings reported! Hall will share details of this project including interesting behaviors witnessed, habitat evaluations and trail camera work. We’re all abuzz with excitement to share these rattlesnake tales (or is that tails?!) with you!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, January 26 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

WATCH THIS TALK

Jeff Hall with rattlesnake

 

Scott Anderson, Bird Conservation Biologist, NC Wildlife Resources Commission
 
Since 1970, we’ve lost an estimated total of 2.9 billion birds across North America — that is one in four birds now gone! This includes common species like the White-throated Sparrow, the population of which has been reduced by 93 million. However, targeted survey and conservation efforts can help #bringbirdsback! The NC Bird Atlas is a five-year statewide community science project that will harness the power of thousands of volunteer birdwatchers to map the distribution and abundance of birds from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks. These observations will give researchers a comprehensive picture of bird populations across North Carolina.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ SECU Daily Planet Curator Chris Smith and the NC Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, January 12, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

WATCH THIS TALK

NC bird atlas logo

 

Dr. Gary Freeze, historian and professor of history and American cultural studies, Catawba College

The Wallace Brother’s Herbarium in Statesville, North Carolina was a local landmark, an economic asset and much more. The herbarium began as a general store owned and operated by David and Isaac Wallace, brothers and German Jews who immigrated to North Carolina in the mid-1800s. The Wallaces’ enterprise in herbs and roots would grow into the largest “Botanic Depot” in the United States. Statesville Land & Record columnist O.C. Stonestreet wrote that in “its heyday, it was a minor wonder of the world.” Join noted regional historian, author, and documentarian Dr. Gary Freeze as he shares the story and legacy of this historical and botanical wonder.

Live Virtual Presentation with special guest host Jerry Reynolds, Head of Outreach with the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

Wednesday, January 5, 2022 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

WATCH THIS TALK

black and white of wallace herbarium, Dr. Gary Freeze

Janet Chikofsky, Climate and Energy Program Coordinator, Climate Interactive

What’s needed to tackle climate change? Planting trees? Taxing coal? Capturing carbon and storing it underground? You can try it out for yourself with the En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator! Created by Climate Interactive in partnership with MIT, this free global policy simulation tool enables you to explore the impact of climate actions and design a path to limit future warming. Join Janet Chikofsky as we learn about cross-sector climate solutions, explore fascinating model dynamics, and strive to limit future warming to below two degrees Celsius. Gain insights into the climate and energy system and find out how to use this tool in workshops, games and conversations.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, December 15 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

Janet Chikofsky and screen shot of En-roads tool

UNC Press author Georgann Eubanks will talk about two young botanists who explored the Blue Ridge Mountains near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, in 1894. What they found were two incredible wildflowers — the Yadkin River Goldenrod and Heller’s Blazing Star, now federally endangered but carefully protected. Beyond this expedition, these two young men would go on to become prominent experts in the field, helping to preserve critical species still in the wild today.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, December 8 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

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Eli Strull, Curator of Education and Guest Experience, WNC Nature Center
Tori Duval, Outreach Education Program Manager, Friends of the WNC Nature Center
Lori Hyatt, Animal Care Naturalist, WNC Nature Center

Did you know that the ancestor of the Red Panda was native to our own southern Appalachian Mountain region? Join staff from the Western North Carolina Nature Center, an AZA-accredited native wildlife facility located in Asheville, as they explore this fascinating animal. Chat with two educators and an animal keeper from the Nature Center about the discovery of Bristol’s panda fossils, the Red Panda’s diet and habitat, and their conservation status. Join us to learn what it takes to keep their two Red Pandas happy and healthy.

Live Virtual Presentation with special guest host Jerry Reynolds, Head of Outreach with the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences 

Wednesday, December 1 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST
WATCH THIS TALK

red panda at the western north carolina nature center

Katlin Roberts and Jessica Metz, Teachers at New Kituwah Academy, Cherokee NC

Discover the rich science embedded within traditional stories. Learn how Indigenous Ways of Knowing and contemporary science together can create a more inclusive view of all that is science. During the session we will explore Cherokee stories and how they depict environmental observations and knowledge passed through generations. Talk with NC educators who are working to decolonize science in a variety of settings and learn about the benefits it can bring to your own educational programs.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, November 17 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

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Jessica Metz and Kaitlin Roberts, Students from New Kituwah Academy

Dr. Carol Price, Conservation Research Coordinator, North Carolina Aquariums
Katie Barnes and Maggie Hart, Students, NC State University

Join us to learn about a small brown butterfly, the Crystal Skipper, that is only found along North Carolina’s Bogue Banks. The Crystal Skipper is endemic to just a 50 kilometer stretch from Bear Island to Fort Macon State Park. Since much of its range overlaps with human activities, buildings and homes, the skipper is experiencing habitat fragmentation due to urban development. Price and her students work with an interdisciplinary research team to conduct butterfly counts, vegetation surveys and habitat restoration projects to help support the Crystal Skipper population. Find out more about this unique butterfly and the team of conservationists that is working to keep it going strong.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, November 10 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

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graphic advertising the skippers in the dunes talk

Dr. Carly York, Assistant Professor of Biology, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Animals have unique sensory modalities that allow them to successfully navigate their environment. A particularly important role of these senses is to find prey and
avoid predators. In this talk, we will discuss how a squid’s extraordinary senses help it to detect and respond to an approaching predator, as well as how this
research can be applied to an invasive species in North Carolina.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, November 3 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

WATCH THIS TALK

Dr. York holding a Lamprey

Will Freund, Project Lead, 
Climate, Kayak, and Conversation

With something as big, complex, scary and life changing as climate change, how do we talk about it? Coastal communities everywhere are on the front lines of our changing world, but not everyone is on the same page. Climb aboard with Will to hear about a true adventure he embarked on to better understand how people in coastal communities talk about climate change. Traveling in a 16-foot sailing kayak, Will set out from Miami, Florida, traveling 1,100 miles over three and a half months to finish in Norfolk, Virginia. Now he is back to share what he has learned, what you can do, and hopefully, to instill a bit of adventure along the way.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 27 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
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left: Will, our speaker. Right: Will's kayak

Hannah Salomons, PhD Candidate, Duke University

If you’re a dog lover, you’ve probably noticed how much dogs love being around people, and often seem to understand our attempts to communicate. How did dogs get this way? Did they inherit these traits from their common ancestors with wolves, a social pack animal? Or did they evolve these social cognitive skills as they were domesticated? Join Hannah Salomons as we discover how dogs and wolves differ in the way they interact with people, and what this means for our understanding of how our own social minds evolved.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 20 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
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left: Hannah with a dog. Right: group of cute puppies

Nadmionor Casiano-Berrios, Program Lead for Deaf Kids Code, Aerospace Engineering
Briana ‘Bri’ Christophers, Student at Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering
Tri-Institutional MD-PhD program, New York and Co-Leader of @LatinasInMed
Dr. Edgar Lobaton, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and
Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University

In recognition and celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, join us virtually to listen to the experiences of Hispanic and Latinx professionals in STEM. The panelists will share their personal paths into a career in science and the role of mentors, as well as challenges and successes. This event aims to raise the visibility of Hispanic and Latinx people in science and to celebrate diversity in STEM.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 13 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
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graphic with headshots of three speakers

Dr. Emily P. Yeager, Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation Sciences, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University

If someone were to ask you what inspires pride in your community what would you say? Would these same aspects of your community be of interest to visitors as well? Often, the answer is yes, and these assets can be leveraged to promote economic development and conservation in your community. Join Dr. Emily Yeager to learn about the process of asset mapping and the STEM, nature-based tourism, hospitality, socio-cultural heritage, and public health assets that exist in the Eastern Tar-Pamlico River Basin for both residents and visitors.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, October 6 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
WATCH THIS TALK
 

handmade pumpkin and can of local beer on left, middle kayaker on millpond, right Freedom Hill Historical Marker

 

 

Michelle Jewell, Science Communicator, NC State University, Department of Applied Ecology
 
When discoveries run against societal norms, science communicators create the spaces needed to fold new knowledge into our cultural evolution – but not without risk and (often) punishment. 
Michelle Jewell will walk us through examples of past and present “guerrilla” science communicators, connecting to lessons we can draw from their independent and renegade communication efforts that were critical turning points in history.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, September 29 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
WATCH THIS TALK
 

photo of Michelle Jewell holding a bird specimen, stock photo of mic, hoto of Michelle Jewell on a beach holding a video or camera tripod

 

Robert McDonald, Lead Scientist, Nature-Based Solutions, The Nature Conservancy

Summers in the United States are getting hotter with an increase in dangerous temperatures and deadly heatwaves due to climate change. Although trees can be one solution to reduce air temperatures in neighborhoods, the amount of tree canopy is unequally distributed in America with low-income neighborhoods generally having less tree cover. Join Rob McDonald to learn more about the extent of tree cover inequality and its effect on temperatures for thousands of communities throughout the United States.
Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, September 22 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

WATCH THIS TALK

photo on left of Rob McDonald and photo on right of tree lined street

Matt Willey, Artist

Join us to find out how Matt Willey became inspired to hand-paint 50,000 honey bees in murals around the world and how this passion has changed his life. In the last six years he has created 32 murals and installations featuring more than 8,500 hand-painted bees, collaborating with many organizations. Matt has reached hundreds of thousands of people with his murals and message, from large-scale works at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC to a Tony Winning Broadway star’s dressing room in NYC. You can even view one of Matt's murals at the Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, located at the Edenton Street entrance of the Nature Research Center.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, September 15 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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artist Matt Willey in front of his bee mural at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Lauren Maynard, PhD Candidate, Virginia Tech

How do plants balance their complex and conflicting relationships with other organisms? They use chemistry! By pairing analytical chemistry and animal behavior, we can peek into the secret lives of plants. Join Lauren Maynard to discover how plants use chemistry to interact with bats, bugs, birds, and blight. We’ll learn how plants balance the opposing pressures of fruit defense and seed dispersal, and explore how plants sound the alarm on bugs to alert their feathered and furry friends.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

September 8 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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photo of our speaker hugging a tree, a beetle on a plant and a bat eating a plant

 

Heather Murphy, Environmental Program Consultant, Division of Air Quality, Ambient Monitoring Section, NC Department of Environmental Quality

Have you ever wondered what the air quality is like where you are or how it changes over time? Join Heather Murphy of NC’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) as she proudly introduces the new Ambient Information Reporter (AIR) tool. This new resource is the product of a joint project between the State Climate Office and DAQ and is meant to be a “one-stop shop” for anyone interested in air quality and meteorological information in NC. Find out how to navigate the tool, all the features available, how DAQ gets its air quality data, and why it’s important to know what’s happening with the air around you.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

September 1, Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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photo of Heather Murphy and a screen shot of the new AIRE tool

Matt Bertone, Director and Entomologist, Plant Disease and Insect Clinic, North Carolina State University

North Carolina is home to numerous wasps and bees that don’t live in hives or paper nests but rather tunnel in the ground to make homes for their young. Matt Bertone will highlight some of these insects, discussing their diversity, biology and other aspects of their lives above and below ground.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, August 25 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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Collage of photos advertising the talk August 25 on bees and wasps that live underground

Nick DiColandrea, AmeriCorps Project Director, Conservation Trust for North Carolina 
Jan Pender, Conservation Legacy Eastern Region Development Director
Hannah Barg, AmeriCorps Alum, Stormwater Education and Outreach Coordinator, Clean Water Education Partnership 
and Youth Engaging in the Science of Resilience Program, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Join us for a discussion with a panel of North Carolina AmeriCorps Alumni and veteran Program Directors on the landscape of national service in local communities around environmental education. The panelists will talk about their roles as environmental educators and capacity builders for local nonprofits and governments, along with how your organization or community can leverage these force multipliers in your own neighborhoods.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

August 18, Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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collage of photos advertising the talk on August 18 on AmeriCorps programs and environmental education

Dr. Liz DeMattia, Duke University Marine Lab Community Science Initiative
Cameron DeChurch, Undergraduate Student, Economics, Duke University
Jackie Jaffe, Undergraduate Student, English, Duke University
Vance Johnson, Undergraduate Student, English, Duke University

Marine debris is one of the largest threats to human beings, marine life and vital ecosystems. By better understanding the sources of debris, we can reduce marine pollution and better protect North Carolina coastlines. One effective way to spur action is through empowering youth to create environmental and community solutions. Join Dr. Liz DeMattia of Duke University Marine Lab and Duke University students as they explore trends in debris data and discuss implications for the environment and future policies while taking a deep dive into the value of intergenerational learning.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

August 11, Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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collage of photos advertising the talk on August 11 on marine waste-debris

Dr. Eric Lund, Paleontology Lab Manager and Paleontology Volunteer Coordinator, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

Dr. Eric Lund will be live online from Utah where he and a team of scientists are searching rocks dating back to the Late Cretaceous around 96 million years ago. They hope to find fossils of orodromine dinosaurs, dinosaur egg sites, new meat-eating dinosaurs, and more. Our live call will give you the chance to join the expedition, ask questions and interact with paleontologists in the field.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

August 4, Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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collage of photos advertising the August 4 talk from a dinosaur dig

 

Gary Perlmutter, Environmental Specialist, NC DEQ Division of Water Resources

Lichens are beautiful, fascinating organisms that are often overlooked, despite being found everywhere! This presentation will give a sense of the wonder of these unusual lifeforms, their dizzying array of species diversity and how lichens are important to the ecosystems in which they reside, with a focus on species here in North Carolina.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising lichen talk on July 28

John Gerwin, Research Scientist and Educator in Ornithology, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

In 1682, a pair of Chimney Swifts was found nesting in a chimney in a colonist’s cabin in Maine. This event led to a striking, ongoing relationship between this bird species and humanity. In this talk, John Gerwin will discuss some of the natural and cultural histories of this migratory species. Compared to other North American birds we still do not know much about swifts. As such, these birds — distant relatives of hummingbirds — are equally fascinating for what we know, and what we don’t know, about them.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising chimney swift talk on July 21

 

Dr. David W. Stahle, Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas

The forested wetlands of the Black River Preserve in Bladen County, NC is one of the great natural areas of eastern North America. Many living bald cypress trees along the Black River are over 1,000-years old and new research demonstrates that some are over 2,000-years old, making these trees the oldest in eastern North America. One tree is at least 2,600 years old! Dr. David Stahle will share his research on these special trees, which also give clues to the people and climate of our state’s ancient past.

Live Virtual Presentation with special guest host Jerry Reynolds, Head of Outreach with the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

July 17, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
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graphic advertising the July 14 talk

 

Raymond Allen, PhD Candidate at Duke University
Scott LaGreca, Collections Manager, Lichens at Duke University
Ellie Cardenal, Environmental Scientist
Chris Martens, Computer Scientist at North Carolina State University
Anita Simha, Community Ecologist, PhD Candidate at Duke University
Read More About these STEM Leaders

In recognition and celebration of Pride Month, join us virtually to listen to the experiences of LGBTQ+ professionals in STEM. The panelists will share their personal paths into a career in science and the role of mentors, as well as challenges and successes. This event aims to raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ people in science and to celebrate diversity in STEM.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

WATCH THIS TALK: 

graphic advertising the LGBTQ+STEM Panel Discussion on June 30, 2021

Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent, Chatham County Center, Carolina Cooperative Extension

There is a special garden in North Carolina that draws visitors from all over the state. Join Debbie Roos as she takes us on a virtual tour of her famous Pollinator Paradise Garden in Chatham County. Learn more about what’s in bloom right now and more about some of Debbie’s favorite plants, including her top native pollinator plants. You can also ask Debbie for her tips of the trade during the Q&A session!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

June 23 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising Debbie Roos Pollinator Paradise Talk on June 23, 2021

Sharon Tam, Communications Manager, FIND Outdoors

Did you know the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association is now “FIND Outdoors?” Join Communications Associate Sharon Tam as she takes you on a virtual journey through western North Carolina and the Southeast. FIND Outdoors inspires people to connect with nature on public lands through well-managed outdoor recreation sites, campgrounds, visitor centers, guided tours, and educational and outdoor opportunities for all ages and abilities. Sharon will show us some wonderful places and how they can help you find amazing recreational, educational and camping experiences.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

June 16, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising the FIND Outdoors talk on June 16, 2021

 

Dr. Melinda Martinez, North Carolina State University

In North Carolina, many freshwater forested wetlands along the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula are rapidly transitioning to marshes due to saltwater intrusion and increased flooding. These stands of dead trees, or “ghost forests,” are reminders that these areas were forests. Join Dr. Melinda Martinez as she explores the consequences of these ghost forests and how NASA’s satellites can be used to detect them before this transformation occurs.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

June 9 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising Ghost Forests Talk on June 9, 2021

Max Cawley, Museum of Life and Science
Chris Goforth, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Myleigh Neill, State Climate Office of North Carolina

Cities trap a lot of heat, causing a phenomenon known as the heat island effect. Learn about heat islands, their impacts on cities, 
and how you can help us learn more about heat islands in the Raleigh-Durham area this summer as we take part in the 2021 NIHHIS–CAPA Heat Watch Campaign.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

June 2 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising heat island effects talk on June 2, 2021

Sara Hallas, Coastal Education Coordinator, N.C. Coastal Federation
Rachel Bisesi, Coastal Education Coordinator, N.C. Coastal Federation

The N.C. Coastal Federation is working diligently on a variety of fronts to clean up our coast. Join Sara Hallas and Rachel Bisesi to learn more about marine debris prevention and removal – from microplastics to boats, and about the success of living shorelines in preventing soundside erosion and encouraging saltmarsh habitats. Find out how community involvement bolsters Coastal Federation’s efforts to support a healthy coast and how you can get involved!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

May 26, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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graphic advertising NC Coastal Federation Talk on May 26

Dr. Gene Kritsky, Dean of the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati
The periodical cicada Brood X was first recorded in 1715 and has been returning once every 17 years since. The largest group of 17-year cicadas, Brood X will next appear in May to June 2021, and you can help map out their return! Join Dr. Gene Kritsky, Dean of Behavioral and Natural Sciences at Mount St. Joseph University, creator of the Cicada Safari citizen science app and the unofficial “Dean of Brood X,” as he tells us what to expect with the return of Brood X and explores how their emergences have contributed to our understanding of cicada biology and their interaction with plants. Get ready!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

May 19 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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Graphic Advertising Cicada Talk on May 19

Sharks play a critical role along our coast – but what are shark researchers hoping to learn from great white sharks tagged off North Carolina? Join us as we learn from OCEARCH’s collaborating research team about these elusive apex predators, the role they play in balancing the ocean’s ecosystems, and how you can join OCEARCH’s efforts to address the two largest threats facing our oceans: data deficit and time.

Dr. Kimberly B. Ritchie, OCEARCH Collaborating Scientist and Associate Professor, Department of Natural Sciences, University of South Carolina at Beaufort
Jennifer Cotton, OCEARCH Education Ambassador, Secondary Science Content Specialist, Brevard Public Schools, Florida

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
WATCH THIS TALK

graphic advertising OCEARCH talk on May 12, 2021

 

 

Tom Randolph, Lead Education Ranger, Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area

You might not be familiar with the Amphibolite Mountains or even Mt. Jefferson State Natural Area, but botanists like Asa Gray and geologists like Elisha Mitchell knew about the mountain, and they did not wait for a road to be built to explore it — they found their own way to this island in the sky. Botany and geology would later be determined to be the synergy that catapulted Mt. Jefferson State Park into being a National Natural Landmark. Join us as Ranger Tom Randolph unravels the story of botanical and geological interaction that has created a perfect storm of botanical diversity hiding in plain sight in Ashe County, North Carolina.
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Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

May 5 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT
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graphic advertising Mt. Jefferson talk on May 5, 2021

 

Zach Harrison, Artificial Reef Biologist, North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

North Carolina is known as the graveyard of the Atlantic, but some of the most famous wrecks in our waters were intentionally placed to benefit fishing, diving and the surrounding ecology. Harrison will discuss the ways artificial reefs are planned, constructed and monitored in our state to benefit coastal ecosystems and fishing/diving communities.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff
Wednesday, April 28 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 

WATCH THIS TALK

graphic advertising Zach Harrison's talk on artificial reefs

Dr. George Elvin, Associate Professor of Architecture, School of Design, North Carolina State University

Professor of Architecture, Dr. George Elvin, explores the world’s hottest, windiest, wettest and driest places to understand how plants and animals adapt to extreme environments. He applies nature’s lessons by designing and constructing dwellings capable of withstanding hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and wildfires. In his talk, he will share insights from his travels, from the Atacama Desert in Chile to the rainforests of Hawai’i, describing how plants and animals adapt to the world’s most extreme environments. He will also share how studying nature can help us design for a rapidly changing planet, illustrating his work at NC State creating disaster-proof dwellings.
This program was part of the Triangle SciTech Expo, April 19–24, 2021.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

April 21, Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 
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graphic advertising Dr. Elvin's talk

David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation

Pollinators are animals that feed on flower nectar and pollen and in doing so, transfer pollen and fertilize plants. Pollination not only allows flowering plants to reproduce, but also to produce the seeds, fruits, nuts and other foods on which both wildlife and people rely. Naturalist David Mizejewski will introduce you to our pollinating wildlife and reveal why everything you think you know about bees is wrong. You’ll learn how to create a beautiful garden that supports pollinators are how to get it recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as a “Certified Wildlife Habitat.”

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, April 14 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 

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graphic advertising David Mizejewski's talk on April 14

Jane Harrison, Coastal Economics Specialist, North Carolina Sea Grant
Leslie Vegas, Coastal Restoration Specialist, North Carolina Coastal Federation

The North Carolina Oyster Trail was created to provide oyster tourism experiences that help sustain and grow North Carolina oyster supply and demand. Join Jane Harrison and Leslie Vegas to learn about sustainable shellfish mariculture in North Carolina and how this unique partnership between a nonprofit, a state university program and the seafood industry is already providing economic, environmental and social benefits to the state’s seafood industry and coastal communities.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 

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graphic advertising Oyster Trail talk on April 7

Haley Elizabeth Plaas, PhD Student, Environmental Science and Engineering, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences

The increase of harmful cyanobacterial blooms in the Chowan River/Albemarle Sound estuary poses a growing threat to human and animal health. Over the past several summers, blooms there have been linked to occurrences of alarmingly high concentrations of microcystin, a potent liver toxin. In the summer of 2020, Haley, in collaboration with researchers from UNC-CH, UNC-IMS, NC State, and the Chowan Edenton Environmental Group, led a field campaign to quantify cyanobacterial DNA and toxins in aerosol and water samples of the Chowan River. Tune in to learn more about their findings and the environmental factors that may influence this potential route of human exposure to cyanobacteria.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 
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graphic advertising Haley Plaas' talk

Dr. Zakiya H. Leggett, Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

Dr. Zakiya Leggett will share her journey in natural resources and discuss opportunities and career options in her field. She will not only share about her journey but will also highlight some amazing women in the field of natural resources. Join us to be inspired, encouraged and maybe even entertained!

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 

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Candice Jordan, Planetarium Administrator and Meteorologist, The Schiele Museum of Natural History's James H. Lynn Planetarium

What’s one thing that every person, plant, and animal on the planet has in common? We all experience weather. Join Candice Jordan as she combines her two passions of atmospheric sciences and astronomy to talk about the weather here on Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. You cirrus-ly don’t want to miss this larger-than-life presentation… Sirius-ly.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 

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Lori Williams, Wildlife Diversity Biologist, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Join Lori Williams for a dive into Hellbender biology and ecology, including rare underwater videos of Hellbender behavior. Lori will explore the challenges this species faces and share information on conservation programs and how you can help with these efforts.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

March 10, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 

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graphic tagging talk as part of reptile and amphibian days

Melissa Dowland, Coordinator of Teacher Education, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

In her position at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Melissa Dowland has the privilege of sharing remarkable natural areas with North Carolina educators. Join us for a talk about why hanging out with teachers is awesome and get ideas about where and how to explore the natural world in North Carolina and beyond.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT 
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Dr. Drew Lanham, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Master Teacher and Certified Wildlife Biologist, Clemson University 

Lanham will discuss what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds. The convergence of ornithologist, college professor, poet, author and conservation activist blend to bring our awareness of the natural world and our moral responsibility for it forward in new ways. Candid by nature — and because of it — Lanham will examine how conservation must be a rigorous science and evocative art, inviting diversity and race to play active roles in celebrating our natural world. 

Special Introduction by Andrew Hutson, Executive Director, Audubon North Carolina

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff
Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT "

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Lauren Pharr, Master of Science Candidate at North Carolina State University in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

With more people moving into urban areas every day, anthropogenic (human-produced) sources of noise and light are having a drastic effect on wildlife. Birds have been particularly useful to study when looking at these urbanization effects, specifically, urban noise and light pollution. Join Lauren Pharr for a discussion of how urbanization continues to affect local bird species.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff
Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EST

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Dr. Louie Rivers, Associate Professor, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University 
 
What would you do if your basement flooded every time a heavy rain came? Many residents in the Walnut Creek Watershed routinely contend with nuisance flooding. Dr. Louie Rivers will discuss how he has worked with communities in Southeast Raleigh on problems related to stormwater flooding and how these problems are connected to larger issues of environmental justice in North Carolina. He will highlight successful efforts to address these issues through research and partnerships.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff.
Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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Tatiana Height, Doctoral Candidate at North Carolina State University in Agricultural and Extension Education 

As environmental racism and environmental injustice continue to be pervasive issues in North Carolina and around the world, it is important that environmental education integrate this subject matter into programs and curricula. This session will describe techniques for such integration and will describe two upcoming programs that will use these techniques.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff
Februrary 3, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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photo of three speakers for february's lecture series

Kat Scala, Education Specialist, Chimney Rock Management, LLC, Stephen Tillotson, Park Ranger, Chimney Rock State Park and Todd Morse, Former Owner of Chimney Rock

In 1902, Dr. Lucius Morse had a vision for a park that was accessible to all.  He believed everyone should have the opportunity to behold the breathtaking views of the Hickory Nut Gorge.  Watch his dream become reality as we journey through the history of a family business that eventually becomes a jewel of the North Carolina State Park system.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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four photos of chimney rock

The View From Mount Mitchell - Photographing Southern Appalachia's Rarest Species - and the People Working to Save Them 

Gary Peeples, Deputy Field Office Supervisor/Public Affairs Officer, Asheville Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Atlantic/Gulf Region

For nearly two decades, Gary has been a public affairs officer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Part of his job includes telling the story of some of Appalachia's rarest plants and animals and efforts to conserve them. Over the years, he has helped look for rare spiders on the shoulder of Mount Mitchell and snails found only in the Nantahala River Gorge. Along the way, he has photographed not only the species, but the endangered species and the biologists working to save these creatures from extinction.

Live virtual presentation hosted by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs Staff.

Wednesday, January 13, @ Noon - 1:00 p.m. EDT

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three photos of different researches in the field

Jerry Reynolds, Head of Outreach, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Join Jerry on a virtual visit to his favorite North Carolina State Parks for hiking. There are thirty-four state parks, plus seven natural and recreational areas available for your exploration. Make your own list of favorites as we visit these wonderful natural areas and learn why these are his first choices.

Live Virtual Presentation hosted by N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Daily Planet Curator, Chris Smith, and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs staff
Today @ Noon – 1:00 p.m. EDT

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three photos: pilot mountain, mount mitchell in snow and the sign for raven rock state park