Our lecture series, The Future of Oceans, draws on the commitment of professional researchers and educators across all academic spectrums to help define and inspire the health of our oceans.
Thanks to the Darrow Family for their ongoing support.
Recordings from previous lectures are further down this page.
The lectures will take place at the Fort Worden Chapel, unless otherwise noted, starting at 3 p.m.
To keep this series accessible to all, regardless of the ability to pay, there is no set charge for the event; however, donations are always welcomed and appreciated.
Assisted Listening Devices available.
Sunday, February 5
"Hybrid in a Haystack: Hybrid beachgrass discovery, description, and ecological consequences in the Pacific Northwest"
Presented by Rebecca Mostow
Education Program Manager,
Western Flyer Foundation
The sandy beaches of the US Pacific Northwest are densely populated by two non-native, ecosystem engineering beachgrasses. Come learn about the recently discovered hybrid between these two species, its ecological consequences, and efforts to use participatory science to map this novel beachgrass.
Rebecca Mostow is a coastal ecologist and educator with over a decade of experience teaching, developing, and running innovative and experiential science education programs. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Oregon State University. Rebecca’s dissertation research used ecological, genetic, and participatory science methods to investigate a novel hybrid beachgrass in the Pacific Northwest. Throughout her career, Rebecca has integrated scientific research with a love of community outreach and teaching. She has conducted ecological research and education all along the Pacific Coast, from Southeast Alaska to Panama, in wide-ranging topics from seabird population dynamics to the biochemistry of kelp reproduction. She has taught students of all ages, from preschool through retirement, and worked in diverse organizations including Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Bureau of Land Management, and Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
Sunday, March 12
Gray whales in Washington state: three groups, three stories, from death to promise"
Presented by John Calambokidis
Senior Research Biologist, Cascadia Research Collective
This talk will focus on the varied insights from both long-term and recent research into gray whales including the recent high mortality in the overall population, the stability of a distinct sub-population that feeds in the Pacific Northwest and the local Sounders group that have expanded use of our local waters as a reprieve from challenges in other parts of their range.
Calambokidis has been studying gray whales since the 1980s, including identifying the local group of Sounder gray whales that return annually to feed in the Salish Sea. As one of the founders of Cascadia Research, a non-profit organization formed in 1979, his primary interests are the biology of marine mammals and the impacts of humans. Calambokidis has conducted studies on a variety of marine mammals in the Pacific, from Central America to Alaska. He has served as the director of more than 100 projects and authored two books on marine mammals, as well as more than 150 publications in scientific journals and technical reports. He periodically serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Evergreen State College, teaching a course on marine mammals, and his work has been covered on shows such as Discovery Channel and has been featured in National Geographic television specials.
You can watch-- or watch again-- any of the speakers from the previous series.
"Stage 8 Restoration: The How's and Why's of NOSC's Upcoming River Restoration Work"
Lecture presented on January 29, 2023, by
Kevin Long, Project Manager, North Olympic Salmon Coalition
YouTube link coming soon
"Recovering Pinto Abalone: use of conservation aquaculture to give the Salish Sea’s largest rocky-reef cleaning marine snail a population boost"
Lecture presented on January 22, 2023, by
Josh Bouma, Abalone Program Director, Puget Sound Restoration Fund
"2022 update on the status of the invasive European green crab in Washington State"
Lecture presented on December 4, 2022, by
Neil Harrington, Environmental biologist, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
"Of Puffins and Petrels: Conserving seabirds of the Salish Sea and Outer Coast of Washington"
Lecture presented on November 20, 2022, by
Dr. Peter Hodum, Professor of Biology, University of Puget Sound
"Deep Sea Mining is coming: What you need to know about this potentially huge new industry"
Lecture presented on November 13, 2022, by
Dr. Christopher Kelley, Ocean biologist, retired
The YouTube video description includes link to more information about deep sea mining and the environmental concerns. These links were provided by Dr. Kelley.
"Preventing Extinction – the Story of Southern Resident Orcas"
Lecture presented on June 12, 2022, by
Cindy Hansen, Education & Advocacy Coordinator at Orca Network
"We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea”
Lecture presented on January 23, 2022, by
Mindy Roberts, Puget Sound Program Director at Washington Environmental Council
Joe Gaydos, Science Director, SeaDoc Society
Brian Footen, Founder and principal of Earthviews
"Southern Resident Killer Whales: Status, Trends, Solutions”
Lecture presented on October 17, 2021,
by Lynda Mapes
Journalist, the Seattle Times
Author of Orcas: Shared Waters, Shared Home
Our thanks to Dr. Christopher Kelly, Betsy Peabody, Dr. Ronald Thom, and John F. Piatt, Ph.D. for sharing their expertise with us during our first virtual series in 2020-2021.
"In Deeper Waters: Exploring Earth's Largest, Yet Least Understood, Biome"
Lecture presented on November 8, 2020,
by Dr. Christopher Kelley
Hawai'i Undersea Research Laboratory
University of Hawai'i
"Immersions in the World of Kelp"
Lecture presented on December 13, 2020,
by Betsy Peabody
Executive director of Puget Sound Restoration Fund
"What Eelgrass and Other Marine Vegetation Can Tell Us about the Future of the Ocean”
Lecture presented on January 10, 2021
by Dr. Ronald Thom
Staff Scientist Emeritus
Marine Sciences Lab,
Pacific Northwest National Lab
"What Can Puffins Tell Us about the Impact of Climate Change on Marine Ecosystems?"
Lecture presented on March 14, 2021
by John F. Piatt, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, Seabird and Forage Fish Ecology Program Leader,
USGS Alaska Science Center, Anchorage AK