Aquarium of the Pacific’s lecture series looks at blue economy, slugs with solar panels

Although the Aquarium of the Pacific’s publicly reopened two weeks ago, many of the park’s attractions such as live performances and lectures have been discontinued as a precaution to minimize crowds.

As a way to safely continue their mission of educating the public on all things ocean, the aquarium has scheduled a series of free, online guest lectures to their online academy, a virtual entertainment and educational program for kids and adults that launched in March.

Over the next three weeks, audiences can tune-in and catch an hour-long lecture every Wednesday and hear about new conservation efforts and take a look at some of the creatures who live in the ocean’s deepest depths.

Professor of life sciences specializing in river ecology and water resources at Arizona State University, John Sabo. Photo courtesy John Sabo.

On July 8, the aquarium welcomes Arizona State professor of life sciences, John Sabo to explain all you need to know about natural food production efforts surrounding Asia’s 12th longest waterway, the Mekong River. Sabo will break-down how researchers utilized special, data-based time series modeling to estimate the features of the river’s flow regime that helped optimize fishing, bringing crucial food resources to Cambodian communities.

A week later, July 15, Charles Colgan, director of research for the Center for the Blue Economy in Monterey will explain what exactly the blue economy is and why you should care about it—hint, it’s about continuing to profit from our oceans resources while maintaining its ecological balance. Colgan will explain how our national governments, international organizations and businesses have committed to finding new ways to do this and why successfully achieving it may be challenging to gauge.

Professional sea diver Mike Bartick will cap off the series on July 22 with a look at some of the ocean’s strangest, most exotic deep sea creatures. Besotted with the ocean’s unique sea life, Bartick has traveled all over the globe photographing and filming it. He has selected a number of favorites from his vast collection including “dragons of the deep, gelatinous sea creatures, slugs with solar panels and fish with hair,” all captured in crisp, gorgeous detail.

A seahorse, or “dragon of the deep” as Mike Bartick calls them. Photo by Mike Bartick.

All three of the guest lectures streams run from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 15, and 22. To watch any of the free guest lectures visit the Aquarium of the Pacific’s website, here. No RSVP necessary. For more information, click here.

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Cheantay Jensen is an editorial intern who covers art and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post.
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