Science Nites Graphic | Lectures | Main Image | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Why not shake up your afterwork or dinner routine and come on out to one of Rookery Bay’s Science Nites for a little science and interesting information while you socialize? At our 2020 series of Science Nites, well-known area experts will treat you to a presentation and fun facts about some of Southwest Florida’s most popular wildlife. Food and drink will be served.



January 28, 2020

Estuaries, like the Ten Thousand Islands, serve as nursery areas for several shark species including the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas). Juvenile bull sharks are apex predators in estuarine food webs. Therefore, alteration of their habitat use and foraging ecology could have cascading effects on the rest of the food web and wider ecosystems. Kristine Zikmanis’s goal through her research is to understand the impacts of altering the freshwater flow on juvenile bull sharks that use the embayments of the Ten Thousand Islands.
Science Nite | Kristine | Sharks | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Science Nite | Christina Toms | Dolphin! | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

February 25, 2020

The coastal and nearshore waters near Naples and Marco Island, Florida are home to a community of bottlenose dolphins that have not been comprehensively studied previously. The National Fisheries Service (NMFS) started a research project in partnership with Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in order to provide the first comprehensive abundance estimate for this system so that the NMFS would have baseline data from which to assess losses or to develop restoration plans in the face of future threats. We’ve now cataloged 330 distinctive individuals seen throughout the system. This initial effort fueled additional questions about the dolphins that live here and potential threats that they may face. Join Christina Toms as she presents what we’ve learned about this dolphin community and some of the research that’s been expanded on since the beginning of the project.
Ocean Trivia!

March 31, 2020

Join us for another fun ocean trivia night, where our questions will tickle your funny bone while testing your knowledge about the amazing creatures of the sea. Dr. Ellen Prager will once again engage us with stories as we go and this time will highlight the Galapagos Islands to celebrate her work there and the release of her new adventure novel for middle graders, Escape Galapagos. How much do you know about the Galapagos Islands and their unique wildlife? We’ll also have copies of her book for sale and signing.
Science Nite | Ellen Prager | Ocean Trivia | Rookery Bay Research Reserve
Science Nite | Stephanie | Single Use Plastic | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

April 7, 2020

Stefanie Spear will discuss the plastic pollution crisis impacting Florida, the United States and other parts of the world. She will discuss the ways citizen science can help solve our plastic pollution problems, giving some specific ways people in Naples can get involved. Stefanie is sailing from Panama City to the Galapagos Islands in January 2020 as crew on eXXpedition, an all-women voyage to raise awareness and explore solutions to the devastating environmental and health impacts of single-use plastics. She will be contributing to world-class scientific studies and using her experience to educate people to better understand the problems we face and how to take daily action.


Even more fun at Rookery Bay!

A visit to Rookery Bay has so much fun in store for Kids & Families. Visit our Environmental Learning Center, Explore Rookery Bay with Nature Tours by Boat & Kayak, or take in a lecture.

Science Nite Information

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6:00pm: Doors open for food and drink
7:00pm: Speaker begins
8:00pm: Event concludes

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Science Nite…one of many engaging new programs at Rookery Bay. Help make a difference and support the Reserve’s Education Department!

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Drone Image of Rookery Bay Research Reserve | National Estuarine Research Reserve