‘Ding’ Darling Free Lecture Series Kicks Off Jan. 29

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

On Feb. 4, Clyde and Niki Butcher will talk about the Everglades following the 2020 publication of Clyde’s latest photographic triumph and as a sneak peek to Niki’s refuge exhibition starting November 2021.

The upcoming season’s “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series will evolve with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to the larger venue of the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The free lectures will occur on five select days throughout the season with one 10 a.m. lecture per day.

The 17th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series, which runs Jan.29 through March 19, 2021, features photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, Feather Thief author Kirk W. Johnson, and eminent authorities on water conservation, eagles, and owls.

“The uncertainties of COVID-19 challenged us to experiment with a new lecture series format so we could accommodate high-quality lecturers but still abide by new distancing guidelines,” said Ann-Marie Wildman, “Ding” Darling’s Nature Store manager and lecture series organizer. “We would be very limited on how many we could seat at our usual venue in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium, but the Community House gives us more latitude. So, we’ve decided on fewer lectures with topnotch speakers.”

The season’s complete schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all starred (*) lectures; books will be available for purchase that day, profits from sales benefitting research and conservation at the refuge. Visit the ‘Ding’ Darling Society website for further information on lecturers.

Seating for the free lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. About 200 socially distanced seats will be available. Face masks will be required. DDWS will be filming all lectures and broadcasting them on Facebook Live.

Note: Opinions expressed in guest lectures do not necessarily reflect the views of refuge and DDWS management, staff, and board of directors.

Friday, Jan. 29 – Ocean Doctor David E. Guggenheim, “Lessons from the Deep: What the Oceans Are Telling Us and Why it Matters,” sponsored by HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management

Thursday, Feb. 4 – Photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, The Everglades, sponsored by Wayne and Linda Boyd

*Friday, Feb. 19 – Author Jack Davis, “The Bald Eagle: Symbol and Species in American History,” sponsored by Southwest Florida Eagle Cam

*Friday, March 12 – Author Paul Bannick, “Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History,” sponsored by Bill & Laurie Harkey

*Friday. March 19 – Author Kirk W. Johnson, Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, sponsored by Ashton Kirchner Group/Keller Williams Realty Sanibel & Captiva, HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management, Geoffrey & Karen Moss, and Sanibel Carts

*starred lecture indicates book signing to follow

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits. To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at 239-472-1100 ext. 4, or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

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