Sea Secrets Lecture Series

tarpon Photo credit: Dan DeMaria

Virginia Key, Fla. — December 7, 2011 — The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, and the Ocean Research and Education Foundation, today announced the roster of distinguished scientists and explorers who will speak in the 2012 Sea Secrets lecture series. The events, which are free and open to the public, are designed to provide insight and information about the oceans that cover two-thirds of our planet, and much of which, are still an enigma. Programs take place in the Rosenstiel School Auditorium, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway on Virginia Key, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:00 p.m.

Sponsored by The Shepard Broad Foundation, The Charles N. and Eleanor Knight Leigh Foundation and Southern Wine & Spirits, and organized by UM Professor Emeritus Robert N. Ginsburg, Sea Secrets is designed for the South Florida non-scientific community.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Dr. Miles Hayes

How can we prepare for the projected sea level rise? How can we be ready for oil spills, expanded shoreline development and offshore oil exploration, all of which impact our valuable coastal zone. Florida’s coasts are new, less than 10,000 years old, when melting glaciers began to flood our limestone platform. During the continued rising sea level, a wide range of unique coastal features developed. Barrier islands, tidal inlets, coral reefs, lagoons and dunes making the Sunshine State’s coasts the most varied of any American state. Join Dr. Miles Hayes who has researched the sedimentary processes and resulting landscapes of Florida’s coasts for decades, as he shares his perspective on the history and future of Florida’s amazing coastlines.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Dr. Jerald Ault

Dr. Jerry Ault provides an “in depth” look at the spectacular range of behaviors and adaptations marine fish have made to enhance their chances of success in support of the “Fishing Capital of the World”. As chief scientific advisor for the Bonefish Tarpon Trust he will discuss how Atlantic tarpon, a multibillion-dollar sportfishery, migrate by following the 26° C isotherm. And how pink shrimp larvae ‘ride’ ocean currents; while black mullet ‘runs’ are triggered by passing cold fronts. He will also uncover the mechanisms behind the yearly arrival of large pelagic fishes like billfish, tunas and dolphinfish on Florida’s coasts, and the sex-changing adaptive behaviors of tropical groupers and snappers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Dr. Bruce Parker

The oceans and their power have long held mysteries we have struggled to understand. In his book The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves and Our Quest to Predict Disasters, Dr. Bruce Parker interweaves dramatic tales of natural marine disasters with fascinating stories of how scientists and mariners very slowly learned how to predict them. From ancient humankind’s strange notions about the sea, working up to modern innovations that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, Parker offers amazing insight into marine disasters. He also answers intriguing questions about the sea. Were tide predictions crucial to D-Day landings in World War II? Can elephants ‘hear’ a tsunami coming? Did a perigean spring tide almost ruin the Boston Tea Party? How did the 2011 Japan tsunami kill so many? Parker, the former chief scientist for NOAA’s National Ocean Service, is a visiting professor at the Center for Maritime Systems at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012*
Stan Waterman

As one of the true pioneers in the shark diving community, Stan Waterman has dedicated his life to the documentation of marine life with over fifty films and videos that have garnered five Emmy® Awards. Currently on the Board of Shark Savers, Waterman is focused on the vital importance of these apex predators to the health of the ocean food chain. He will feature clips from his 1968 film “Blue Water, White Death,” share his work with oceanic white tip sharks and discuss his pioneering efforts in advancing the idea of safe relationships with these magnificent creatures. Packed with extraordinary visuals and mind-blowing tales, this lecture is sure to have some serious ‘bite’.

*Winners of the University of Miami’s 2012 Underwater Photography Contest will be announced after the lecture and winning images will be on display in the Library.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Mac Stone

Ever since early settlers arrived in Florida, the Southern Everglades were feared and revered by even the bravest explorers who dared to enter its waters. Poets, writers, and scientists came to regard this tropical estuary as one of nature’s most brilliant displays of life. In the last hundred years however, increased competition for fresh water has impacted the coastal and marine environment, endangering one of the state’s most critical and biodiverse habitats. Mac Stone, a field biologist and wildlife photographer has been working with the National Audubon Society for over two years in Florida Bay documenting and studying this complex ecosystem. Combining science and artistry, he paints a vivid picture of the interconnectedness of Florida’s fresh and saltwater communities and what we must do to preserve them.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

sea secrets •  lecture •  dr. miles hayes •  sea level rise •  dr. jerald ault •  marine fish •  dr. bruce parker •  marine disasters •  stan waterman •  apex predators •  mac stone •  sharks •