Dr. Gary Schmelz will be the speaker at Marco Island Shell Club’s March 2nd seminar, Solomon Islands Adventures: Return to Bali Hai, which will focus on his trips to the Solomon Islands and discoveries he made there. The progam will begin at 6:00 p.m. at Disseler Hall at the United Church of Marco, 320 N. Barfield Drive.

Professor Schmelz received his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Delaware. He is the former Director of the Big Cypress Nature Center and Director of Education for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Currently, Dr. Schmelz is a Field Research Associate with the University of Florida where his main investigative interests are in the area of paleomalocology. To date, he has described 35 new species of fossil marine mollusks. He has co-authored a booklet on Mollusca of the Florida Shoal River Formation and has just finished his latest book Fabulous Florida Fossil Shells which will be on sale at the end of the seminar.

March 21, 12 – 1 pm

Marine organisms need to respond very rapidly to sharp environmental changes. While the ability to cope with stress depends largely on the information stored in their genes, the modulation of such information in response to environmental signals is governed by epigenetic regulatory mechanisms. Epigenetics is an exciting and relatively new discipline studying of the inheritance of modifications in the function of genes. The present talk aims to introduce audiences to a) the Epigenetics phenomenon, b) its relevance to study how marine organisms adapt to environmental changes and c) its potential application in pollution biomonitoring and conservation in the ocean. Lecture is $15, or $10 for Friends of Rookery Bay members, includes lunch.

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

March 20 – 24, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Join renown Lee Hammond, Rookery Bay Reserve’s Artist in Residence, for an art program this summer and explore the magic of drawing and painting. Hammond has been a professional artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has published more than 35 art instruction books. Learn more about her amazing talent here. Create beautiful landscape paintings in acrylic with Lee Hammond. Based on her painting books by North Light, she will show you how to achieve beautiful skin tones, hair and clothing. Cost is $395.

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

March 18, 6 pm – 10:30 pm

More than 200 guests can enjoy cocktail hour and silent auction among the aquariums and art gallery, sunset on the bridge over Henderson Creek, and a wild live auction on the center's back lawn. This year, the Batfish Bash will feature an amazing dining experience with Service By Jordan. Upbeat and catchy music from the Girl Meets Boy band will have you grooving on the outdoor dance floor. Proceeds from the wild live auction will help support research and education for future scientists. Event sponsors include Minto, Arthrex, First Florida Integrity Bank, and many other members of the community.

The Batfish Bash for the Bay is the signature annual fundraiser for the Friends of Rookery Bay. Proceeds from the live and silent auctions directly support the research, stewardship, and education efforts undertaken by the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Cost is $195.
Thank you for your support!

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

March 13, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Get the best pictures possible and truly understand your digital camera’s features. You will learn how to use your camera's shutter, aperture, ISO control and the drive modes to create images with impact and creativity. No previous camera or photography experience is necessary, just a desire to learn. Sonny Saunders has over 35 years of experience in photography and instruction and is renowned for his ability to communicate to a wide variety of students. Cost is $55.

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

March 11, 8 am - 12 pm

Enjoy this fun and informative class designed to help you identify birds around you. Oriented toward the beginning birder, the classroom session explores how to use birds’ plumage, shape, behavior and habitat to recognize various species. It also covers the effective use of binoculars and field guides. During the second part of the class you will learn more tricks of the trade during a field trip to a nearby park where you can enjoy practicing new skills. Cost is $40.

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

March 6 - 10 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Join renown Lee Hammond, Rookery Bay Reserve’s Artist in Residence, for an art program and explore the magic of drawing and painting. Hammond has been a professional artist and art instructor for more than 30 years. She has published more than 35 art instruction books. Learn more about her amazing talent here. Create beautiful paintings in acrylic with Lee Hammond. Based on her painting books by North Light, she will show you how to achieve beautiful skin tones, hair and clothing. Cost is $395.

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

March 4, 8:00am – 12:00 pm

Southwest Florida is a critical stopover site for thousands of migrating and wintering shorebirds. In this class, Adam DiNuovo of Audubon Florida will discuss the life history of these birds and the amazing journeys many of them make annually. Learn how to use plumage, size, and behavior to help with identification. The classroom session will be followed by a trip to Tigertail Beach, one of the most important winter shorebird sites in Florida, where we will see many of the birds discussed. Cost is $40.

www.rookerybay.org, 239-530-5977, [email protected]

There will NOT be a Networking "After Five" in February, 2017.

Please join us for our annual "Wet Paint Live" event on Thursday, February 16th!

March After Five will be held on Wednesday, March 15th at Mutual of Omaha Bank.

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