SmartTalk Presentations at Ventura Harbor Bring New Life to Science

Coastal Marine Biolabs (CMB) and the Ventura Port District are pleased to announce a free new educational presentation series for the public entitled, “SmartTalk at Ventura Harbor.” The presentations, which explore a range of life science topics with local relevance and appeal, will be held at various times throughout the year in the auditorium at the Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, located at the Channel Islands National Park headquarters at Ventura Harbor, 1901 Spinnaker Dr.

“For the last nine years, Coastal Marine Biolabs has engaged a national audience of high school educators and students in cutting-edge life science research through its innovative educational programming,” said Linda Santschi, PhD, CMB’s Scientific Co-Director. “SmartTalk will extend the excitement and fascination of scientific discovery to a broader and more diverse audience through lively and visually engaging presentations by leading experts. We cordially invite science enthusiasts, lifelong learners, educators, high school and college students, and other interested members of the general public to enrich their evenings by attending these free harbor events.”

The spring kickoff to the yearlong educational series will include the following two SmartTalks:

Thursday March 26: “The Magic of Fluorescence in the Sea – A Story of Discovery, Beauty, and Science”

Charles Mazel, PhD, will discuss a rarely observed palette of light in nature that lies hidden beneath the glare of sunlight. This visual symphony of fluorescence is orchestrated by organisms that glow with startling and unexpected colors under the ocean surface. Besides its stunning beauty and aesthetic appeal, fluorescence is a fascinating dimension of natural light that may provide important insights into the biology of these creatures. This richly illustrated SmartTalk will discuss the nature of fluorescence, how to observe and capture images of its vibrant beauty, what it may mean for corals and other organisms, and how the fluorescent molecules that originated in the sea are revolutionizing the study of human physiology and disease.

Mazel is the founder of NIGHTSEA and a Principal Research Scientist at Physical Sciences, Inc (Andover, MA). He became intrigued by the idea of fluorescence while night diving in the early 1970s and developed his own line of equipment for revealing and photographing underwater fluorescence. He has explored the phenomenon in numerous locations around the globe and made the first deep-sea dives from a manned submersible to explore marine fluorescence.

Thursday April 30: “One Fish, Two Fish, Three Fish, Rockfish – A Simply Fabulous Introduction to the Best Darn Fishes on Planet Earth”

With over 100 species worldwide, including at least 45 species in Southern California alone, the rockfish is a well-loved group of marine fishes with tremendous ecological and economic importance. Dr. Milton Love, a marine biologist and research biologist at the Marine Science Institute at UCSB, will add a splash of comic value to a lively and engaging SmartTalk on some little known facts that make rockfishes so fun, endearing and magnificent. Love has conducted research on the marine fishes of California for over 45 years and is the author of more than 90 publications on the fishes of the Pacific Coast.

Both programs begin at 6 p.m. with a welcome reception featuring complementary appetizers provided by The Greek at the Harbor, opening remarks and introductions. The talks begin about 7:10, followed by a question-and-answer session and concluding remarks.

Parking is free. Guests are invited to dine in Ventura Harbor Village either before or following the talks. For Ventura Harbor events, lecture series information or a listing of programs, please visit www.venturaharbor.com.

Established in 2006, Coastal Marine Biolabs is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to innovating life science education.

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