MLB lecture series

National Marine Sanctuaries:
Special Ocean Places and Their Champions

The National Aquarium is proud to partner with the National Marine Sanctuaries System and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to bring you a glimpse of both the wonder beneath the waves and a view of contemporary ocean issues in the 2014 Marjorie Lynn Bank Lecture Series, “National Marine Sanctuaries: Special Ocean Places and Their Champions.”


Upcoming Events

December 3, 2014
Building a Brighter Tomorrow through National Marine Sanctuaries

Featuring: Jean-Michel Cousteau

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Explorer. Environmentalist. Educator. Filmmaker. For over five decades, Jean-Michel Cousteau has dedicated himself to advocating for our water planet. A voice for the ocean, he inspires audiences worldwide to act responsibly and preserve the fragile underwater ecosystems that are so intricately tied to all life on Earth.

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel has been exploring the underwater realm since his father—ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau—first threw him overboard at age 7 with newly invented scuba gear on his back. Honoring his heritage, he founded Ocean Futures Society, which reaches millions of people globally through environmentally oriented TV specials, public service announcements, school programs, articles, books and lectures.

Jean-Michel has produced more than 80 films, including his PBS-KQED documentary “Voyage to Kure,” which inspired President George W. Bush to declare the Northwest Hawaiian Islands a marine national monument in 2006. He is the recipient of the Environmental Hero Award and the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and now directs his efforts toward creating more national marine sanctuaries.

Past Events

November 11, 2014
Uncovering the Underwater Lives of Humpback Whales

Featuring: Dr. David Wiley

Most of what we know about whale behavior originated from observations of their activity on the water’s surface. What they do beneath the waves has been more of a mystery—until recently. Marine biologist Dr. David Wiley, research coordinator at NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, has pioneered the use of advanced technology to discover the secret lives of these gentle giants.

Dr. Wiley’s research on humpback-whale behavior has led to the relocation of shipping lanes within the sanctuary and the world’s first real-time system for notifying ships of whales in their paths. He’s helped develop fishing gear that reduces the risk of whale entanglement, as well as innovative ways to rescue stranded whales and dolphins.

Dr. Wiley is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Gold Medal, the NextGov Bold Award for scientific innovation and the Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy. His research has appeared in numerous scientific journals—including Behavior, Animal Behavior and Biological Conservation—and has been featured on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic.

Whale in NOAA Sanctuary

October 21, 2014
Preserving Our Past: Discovering America’s Maritime Heritage

Featuring: Dr. James P. Delgado

Miss your chance to catch it live? Watch Dr. James P. Delgado's full lecture here:

Maritime archaeologist, explorer and author Dr. James P. Delgado has led and participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world. His first two years with NOAA, where he serves as director of maritime heritage in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, were spent exploring the sunken Titanic; and his other undersea expeditions include the Carpathia—the ship that rescued Titanic’s survivors—and the notorious “ghost ship” Mary Celeste.

Learn More About Dr. James P. Delgado

Dr. Delgado has surveyed the wreckage of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor; the sunken fleet of atomic-bombed warships at Bikini Atoll; the 1846 wreck of the U.S. naval brig Somers, whose story inspired Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd”; and Sub Marine Explorer, the world’s oldest deep-diving submarine.

Dr. Delgado was the president and CEO of Texas A&M’s Institute of Nautical Archaeology for nearly five years, and was the executive director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for 15 years. Before that, he led the U.S. government’s maritime preservation program and was the U.S. National Park Service’s maritime historian.

Titanic Bow

Images courtesy of NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

October 19, 2014
The Tale of the Ice Whale

Featuring: Twig George

Newbery Award winner Jean Craighead George’s last novel—completed with the help of her children—chronicles a mystical relationship between a young Eskimo boy and the rare bowhead whales living in Alaskan waters. Titled “Ice Whale,” the new children’s book highlights the interconnectedness of all life forms—whether ocean- or land-dwelling—through beautifully illustrated pages and alternating voices between human and marine mammal.

Bring your family and join us for a special program with Twig George, Jean’s daughter, who will be sharing the story behind her mother’s book and the unique species it features. Currently a lower-school librarian at The Park School in Baltimore, Md., Twig began writing children’s books when her kids were in elementary school and is the author of “A Dolphin Named Bob,” “Swimming With Sharks” and “Jellies: The Life of Jellyfish,” among others.

This special event includes a kid (and adult)-friendly continental breakfast. National Aquarium admission is not included with your registration, but you can purchase tickets here to tour the Aquarium after the event.

Ice Whale cover

September 10, 2014
The Battle of Baltimore: How Our Harbor Helped Define America

Featuring: Expert panel of historians and authors

Miss your chance to catch it live? Watch the full panel discussion here:

The Battle of Baltimore in September 1814 was an uplifting victory for beleaguered Americans. Coming shortly after the British attack on Washington, D.C.—and the torching of the Capitol and White House—the success of Baltimore’s citizen soldiers electrified the nation and hastened the war’s end. The sight of Fort McHenry after the battle inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became the national anthem in 1931.

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As tall ships return to the Inner Harbor for the culmination of Baltimore’s bicentennial celebrations, join us for a special program hosted by Aquarium CEO John Racanelli to explore the history and lasting legacy of the Battle of Baltimore. Co-sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Press and the Maryland Historical Society, the program will feature a panel of historians, experts and authors whose recent books have focused on the War of 1812, key events in the Chesapeake region, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the war’s impact on American identity.

The Rockets' Red Glare Cover The Dawn's Early Light Cover

May 7, 2014 - Humpback Whale Rescue in the Hawaiian Islands

Featuring: Ed Lyman

Miss your chance to catch it live? Watch Ed Lyman's full lecture here:

Ed Lyman, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary's Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator, shares his experience with whale entanglement and rescue.

Learn More About Ed Lyman

Freeing a 40-ton whale from a life-threatening entanglement is a complex and dangerous endeavor for trained rescue teams and the animals alike. However, these efforts can be the difference between life and death for the animal, and more importantly, can help garner information that might reduce the threat for many in the future. Lyman shares stories of trying to free these gentle giants and discusses the value of using science to work towards protecting these amazing animals.

Lyman, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator, manages a community-based response effort to entangled large whales around the main Hawaiian Islands. He also assists NOAA Fisheries in addressing large whale entanglement response in Alaska and the US West Coast. Ed Lyman has participated in more than 70 large whale disentanglements.

NOAA Sanctuary Program/ MMHSRP (permit # 932-1905)

Related links:
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

Images courtesy of NOAAʻs Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and taken under NOAA Fisheriesʻ MMHSRP (permit #s 932-1489 or 932-1905).

February 27, 2014 - Hope: A Plan for Our Ocean

Featuring: Dr. Sylvia Earle

Miss your chance to catch it live? Watch Dr. Earle's full lecture here:

American oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer, Dr. Sylvia Earle has pioneered the concept of embracing ocean “hope spots” around the world, aquatic treasures like our own National Marine Sanctuaries. Hope spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean, Earth’s blue heart.

Learn More About Dr. Sylvia Earle

Dr. Earle will share her experiences exploring inner-space to rally popular support for hope spots around the world. Some of these hope spots are already protected, while for others, it is imperative that they be protected. Dr. Earle has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998, and was named by Time as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. Most recently, Dr. Earle released a film, Mission Blue, which traces Sylvia Earle's remarkable personal journey, from her earliest memories exploring the ocean as a young girl to her days leading a daring undersea mission in the Virgin Islands and beyond.


Related links:

Dr. Sylvia Earle's New Film

March 18, 2014 - Ocean Soul: A Photojournalist’s Journey

Featuring: Brian Skerry 

Miss your chance to catch it live? Watch Brian Skerry's full lecture here:

Learn More About Brian Skerry

Ocean Soul is a love story. It is a story of discovery. It is a story of hope. Photojournalist Brian Skerry will take us on the journey to his Ocean Soul. He will present a gripping portrait of the ocean as a place of beauty and mystery, a place in trouble, and ultimately, a place of hope that will rebound with the proper attention and care. Skerry has witnessed these rebounds in our own National Marine Sanctuaries and marine reserves areas around the world. Through his stunning photography, Skerry advocates for continued and increased protection of special ocean places. One such advocacy touch point can be found at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where Skerry's work is currently the focus of a special exhibit in the Sant Ocean Hall called Portraits of Planet Ocean.

Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998, he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine, covering a wide range of subjects and stories. Skerry’s assignments have taken him across the globe, from coral reefs to polar ice, as he focuses on pertinent subjects such as the planet’s last remaining pristine coral reefs, the plight of the right whale, sharks of the Bahamas, marine reserves, sea turtles and squid.

Related links:

April 22, 2014
The Power of Film: Inspiring Action for Monterey Bay

Featuring: Bob Talbot

Miss your chance to catch it live? Watch Bob Talbot's full lecture here:

Learn More About Bob Talbot

As a world-renowned marine photographer, award-winning filmmaker and dedicated environmentalist, Bob Talbot is using the power of film to advocate for National Marine Sanctuaries and uses his gift to tell a story of change and recovery in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Talbot will take you on a journey of filmmaking, underwater adventures, and experiences on the ocean conservation front lines, reminding us that our sanctuaries are what we make them as we all have the power to destroy and power to heal.

In Talbot’s remarkable career, he has combined his unique visual style and storytelling ability with state-of-the-art entertainment technologies to create intimate ocean experiences on film. His photographs of whales and dolphins have been reproduced into millions of lithographs distributed around the world, and his motion picture work has appeared in many television, film and special venue productions. Aquarium visitors can enjoy Talbot’s work at the entrance to the Blue Wonders wing on our video wall.

Please consider a suggested donation of $20 with your registration. Your continued support allows us to offer quality programming in service of our mission to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures.

Bob Talbot

Related links:
Talbot Productions
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary


National Marine Sanctuaries: Special Ocean Places and Their Champions

The National Aquarium is proud to partner with the National Marine Sanctuaries System and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to bring you a glimpse of both the wonder beneath the waves and a view of contemporary ocean issues in the 2014 Marjorie Lynn Bank Lecture Series, “National Marine Sanctuaries: Special Ocean Places and Their Champions.”

Our nation’s vast ocean riches are protected by a system of National Marine Sanctuaries, cherished by people around the country and safeguarded by a team of global ocean leaders.

Your National Marine Sanctuary System is a diverse network of the best places in our ocean environment, from humpback whale feeding and birthing grounds and shipwrecks of national interest, to coral reefs and kelp beds that represent the finest ocean and Great Lake areas.

Through a series of lectures, we offer the chance to meet ocean experts who work on the front line of ocean conservation and exploration. Our year-long lecture series brings to you the luminaries, scientists, explorers and artists who protect and use these special places to drive change toward a sustained ocean and a sustainable future.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a private, non-profit organization whose vision is to strengthen and expand the network of national marine sanctuaries for the benefit of current and future generations.


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