Videos and Livestreams - Lunchtime Lecture Series 2021

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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Lunchtime Discovery Series November 2021

           

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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

WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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
WATCH THIS TALK

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
WATCH THIS TALK:

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
WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK:

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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
WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK
 

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK
 

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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

WATCH THIS TALK

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
WATCH THIS TALK

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 
WATCH THIS TALK: 

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 

WATCH THIS TALK:

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 

WATCH THIS TALK:

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 
WATCH THIS TALK

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