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December 4, 2017

Lecture series explores climate change, sustainability

Annual 'Moonlight on the Marsh' lectures begin Jan. 18

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples presents five preeminent national and international speakers in its sixth annual “Moonlight on the Marsh” Distinguished Lecture Series in 2018.

The free lectures, which run from Jan. 18 through March 15, will explore timely topics including climate change, coastal sustainability and Southwest Florida mangroves. They are made possible by a generous donation by Bernard C. and Susan Master of Marco Island and Columbus, Ohio.

Photo of wetlands expert and FGCU professor William J. Mitsch
William J. Mitsch

Dr. William J. Mitsch, eminent scholar and director of the Everglades Wetland Research Park, calls this year’s series “one of our most complete, from top to bottom.”

“We have the world’s experts on mangrove wetlands, soil carbon sequestration and hurricane storm surges — all topics vital for south Florida’s survival and sustainability,” he says. “Plus we have some exceptional presentations on mega-scale projects in China to manage its coastlines and watersheds and on what is happening to northern lakes of Canada — both because of climate change.”

All of the lectures will be presented at FGCU’s Harvey Kapnick Education and Research Center at the Naples Botanical Garden, 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples. Programs begin at 7 p.m.

The 2018 lecture lineup:

  • Thursday, Jan. 18: “China’s management of the Yangtze River Delta and Shanghai coastline in response to climate change,” featuring Xuechu Chen, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Ecological and Environment Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, and Jung-Chen Huang, Ph.D., professor, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
  • Thursday, Feb. 1 (Wetlands Day Celebration): “Salt, wind, and frost: The shapers of mangroves in Southwest Florida,” Ariel E. Lugo, Ph.D., director, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.
  • Thursday, Feb. 15: “ ‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’: Is climate change driving cyanobacteria to remote northern lakes?” by Irena Creed, Ph.D., professor and executive director, School of Environment & Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
  • Thursday, March 1: “Soil carbon and climate change,” Rattan Lal, Ph.D., distinguished professor of soil science and director, Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus.
  • Thursday, March 15: “Understanding a sustainable coast — perceptions and realities of hurricane storm surge and waves,” Joannes J. Westerink, Ph.D., Joseph and Nona Ahearn Professor in Computational Science and Engineering and Henry J. Massman Chairman, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.

The Everglades Wetland Research Park is dedicated to research on the wise management of freshwater and coastal ecosystems of Southwest Florida and the Florida Everglades and to the protection and enhancement of wetlands and water resources worldwide. More details are available on the park’s website.