Shell Museum Announces New Spring Programs, Adult Education Classes

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Broadening its educational reach via unique program offerings, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum announces a new adult class lineup for 2022 as well as a new behind-the-scenes program After Hours in the Aquariums.

“The positive response to the introduction of classes this fall prompted the Museum to create additional learning opportunities for 2022 to help shell and mollusk enthusiasts, naturalists, and artists build their skills and knowledge base,” said Sam Ankerson, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Executive Director.

The spring class lineup, taught by José H. Leal, PhD, Science Director and Curator, Rebecca Mensch, MS, Senior Marine Biologist, and Ehren Gerhard, Professor of Drawing, Florida Gulf Coast University, is as follows:

February 10: Fantastic Shells and Where to Find Them
March 2: San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Marine Biology and Field Lab
March 17: Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Mollusks
March 31: Drawing and Illustrating Shells
April 13: Shell Morphology: Understanding Shell Descriptions
Visit to register and view full class descriptions.

After Hours in the Aquariums enables guests to experience the aquariums and marine life of the Living Gallery in a fun, social, and interactive program the 4th Tuesday of the Month from January through June. Beginning at 5:30pm after the Museum closes, participants have the galleries to themselves and are guided by senior staff through the ins and outs of the animals’ behavior, characteristics, and how the Museum takes care of them.

The approximately one-hour “sip and stroll” experience is a perfect way to start the evening, enjoy the Living Gallery with friends, and learn something new. Ticket includes After Hours program admission, tour, snacks, choice of beverage, and one Museum pass redeemable for a future visit. Maximum capacity per event is 15 guests, and registration is required at

About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 500,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.

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