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Our team of naturalists offer programs on a variety of topics - check out the daily themes here.
Hear from expert speakers, and enjoy a meal during the Lunch & Learn Lecture at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve Environmental Learning Center. Registration fee is $15 (includes lunch). Friends of Rookery Bay members receive a 10% discount (Please login to website to receive your discounted rate). Pre-registration is required, as space is limited.
Given By: Rick Smith (Patrick D. Smith, Jr.), Creator and Host of "Patrick Smith’s Florida Is A Land Remembered"
Lecture Description: Audiences all over Florida have raved about this multimedia show about Patrick Smith and his life’s work in literature. It is visual storytelling produced and presented by his son, Rick (Patrick, Jr.), a professional media producer. Rick has created over 50 video clips, special visual and sound effects, music and more to bring his presentation to life. It has been shown over 200 times in venues all over Florida, to rave reviews.
Brief Bio: Rick Smith (Patrick D. Smith, Jr.) is the son of author Patrick D. Smith. Rick lives in California where he works in professional media production. He spent over 20 years as department head at California Polytechnic State University, producing educational and entertainment films and videos.
Rick has used his experience in media to produce a show entitled “Patrick Smith’s Florida Is A Land Remembered.” Rick tours with this presentation several times a year, performing at museums, performing arts centers, libraries, festivals, and schools. In his own words, he is “carrying the torch” to keep his father’s literary work in the public eye.
Given By: Gary Mormino, scholar in residence at the Florida Humanities Council and a professor emeritus of history
Lecture Description: On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Florida was the smallest state in the American South and Naples was a village of 1,200 residents, with no banks! Today, Florida is a Sunbelt megastate, and Naples is one of the most desirable places on the globe. What happened?
Brief Bio: Gary Mormino is a prolific author, concentrating his energies trying to understand modern Florida. His books include The Immigrant World of Ybor City and Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams.
Given By: Peggy Macdonald, Executive Director at the Matheson History Museum; and Adjunct Professor at Stetson University and Indian River State College
Lecture Description: Florida’s “Three Marjorie(y)s” used the power of the pen and grassroots activism to celebrate Old Florida and protect Florida’s wildlife and wild places. Through engaging historic postcards and photos and a lively presentation and discussion, author Peggy Macdonald blends Florida, women’s and environmental history to provide audiences with an inspirational message about the power a small group of committed citizens can have to defend Florida’s environment. Carr was raised by naturalist parents in rural southwest Florida when the state had fewer than a million residents. In the 1960s, when I-75 was constructed through her backyard, Carr launched a conservation career that preserved many of north central Florida’s ecological treasures.
Brief Bio: Peggy Macdonald is a native Floridian. She is the executive director of the Matheson History Museum in Gainesville. Dr. Macdonald also teaches history at Stetson University and online at Indian River State College. Her recent book, Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida's Environment, won Honorable Mention in Foreword Reviews' 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award contest in Women's Studies. She has written articles on local and Florida history and culture for Gainesville Magazine, Our Town Magazine and Senior Times. Macdonald is an alumna of the University of Florida (Ph.D. in history, 2010) and Hollins University, a women's college in Roanoke, Virginia. She lives in Gainesville with her husband, two children and a blue and gold macaw named Miles.
Focus: Botany– This field trip will focus on the wildlife, habitat and ecology of the area visited and is NOT primarily a birding field trip.
Field Trip Description: Join us for this opportunity to observe one of Florida’s rare and beautiful habitats at Naples Botanical Garden near downtown Naples. Come hike and learn about the diverse plants that make up the scrub and about the fascinating geologic history that shaped the southwest FL coast and created this habitat. This tour will also teach about the gopher tortoise, which is often seen in this part of the Garden and calls the scrub home, and the relationship this keystone species has with the scrub.
Given By: Carrie Sue Ayvar, Storyteller & Chautauqua Scholar with the Florida Humanities Council
Lecture Description: “If you’ve never heard the roar of a bull alligator and some night bird answer, you haven’t lived.” So said Dr. Anna Darrow (1876-1959) who, in 1909, became only the 2nd woman doctor licensed in Florida. Chautauqua Scholar, Carrie Sue Ayvar, tells the story, in the first person, of this fearless wife, mother, doctor, pharmacist, artist and even veterinarian when needed. The Q & A allows the audience to interact and learn more.
Brief Bio: A nationally acclaimed, award winning bilingual storyteller, Carrie Sue Ayvar is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of storytelling. A Chautauqua scholar and Master Teaching Artist, her performances blend entertainment and education. Carrie Sue loves to share some of Florida’s unique history with audiences throughout the state.
Given By: Brendan Burke, Maritime Historian with the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Lecture Description: Join Maritime Historian Brendan Burke to journey through time and across Florida’s coasts in search of stories from our unique lighthouses. From the Dry Tortugas to the First Coast, light stations are not only beacons for navigation but stand as silent witnesses to the history of the Sunshine State.
Brief Bio: Brendan Burke works for the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum as a maritime archaeologist with the museum’s research wing, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP). He holds a B.A. in history/anthropology from Longwood University and an MA in historical archaeology from The College of William and Mary.
Given By: Andrew Frank, Allen Morris Associate Professor of History at Florida State University
Lecture Description: Between 1700 and the present, the culture of the Florida Seminoles has remained remarkably connected to its roots while also innovating in dramatic fashion. This lecture explores this dynamic to show how the Seminoles have embraced this dualism of being both modern and traditional. It examines, among other things, their origin stories, dress, cuisine, housing, ceremonial life, and family life.
Brief Bio: Andrew K. Frank is a specialist in the history of the Seminoles and other Indians of Florida. He is Allen Morris Associate Professor of History at Florida State University and an award-winning author and editor of many books and articles. His books include Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves, and the Founding of Miami (2017), Creeks and Southerners: Biculturalism on the Early American Frontier (2005) and The Seminole (The History and Culture of Native Americans) (2010). He is currently finishing Those Who Camp at a Distance: The Seminoles and Indians of Florida—a synthesis of the history of the Seminoles from their origin until the present.
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Tel: (239) 530-5940 300 Tower Road Naples, Florida 34113
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