Throughout the year, the Museum offers lectures and discussions about the Lowcountry’s history, culture, and environment. Topics vary and guest presenters come from around the region.

Select weekdays (typically Wednesdays)  from  October–May the Discovery Lecture Series is offered.
$7 per person (for the majority of programs)
Reservations required: call 843 689 6767 ext. 223 or register online.

The Coastal Discovery Museum also offers a History Forum of the Lowcountry series. Check the event calendar or call for other lectures, talks and guest speakers offered throughout the year. These programs are $10 per person for non members, $5 for basic members, and free for supporting and above membership levels. The 2017-18 topics are listed below.

Discovery Lectures – 2017 – 2018:

The Coastal Discovery Museum’s Discovery Lecture Series will address four overarching themes in its offerings between October and May. October and November will focus upon Sea Turtles, inviting experts from around the state to share their research, expertise, and conservation methods with our attendees. Please check back often for the updated schedule.

Lumbering Loggerheads vs. Kinetic Kemp’s: Comparing and contrasting the coastal ecology of two sea turtle species

Wednesday, October 4th – 3 PM, $7 per person
Presented by Michael D. Arendt, PhD.  – Principal Investigator in In-Water Sea Turtle Research at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Near-shore coastal waters off South Carolina are important foraging and developmental habitats for several sea turtle species for much of the year.  Since 2000, the SCDNR in partnership with the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service/Sea Grant has conducted in-water surveys using modified shrimp nets to assess sea turtle distribution, relative abundance, and population structure/health.  Several thousand loggerhead and several hundred Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles have been captured to date, a subset of which have also been outfitted with telemetry devices to monitor their whereabouts after initial data collection at sea.  This talk will provide an overview of major findings of this unique sea turtle data set, with emphasis on how these data have been used to refine sea turtle management in the region, as well as identify knowledge gaps and future research priorities. Register Here

Additional programs planned include:

October/November – Sea Turtles:  genetic research, History of Turtle Excluder Devices, Sea Turtle Stranding Network, and more.

December/January – Birds and Birding: Wintering ducks management, Lowcountry owls, Brown Pelican research, Wood Stork conservation, and wading birds.

February/March – Climate Change: Climate change and invasive plants, sea level rise and local planning, water temperatures and sea life

April/May – Human Impacts on our Environment: Plastics, microplastics, human impact on marine mammals, oysters and water quality, municipal reactions and initiatives.

History Forum of the Lowcountry:

Since 2013, the History Forum of the Lowcountry has invited guest presenters to discuss various aspects of Lowcountry history, culture, and experiences. Speakers have included professors, authors, community leaders, archivists, genealogists, museum professionals, and other experts in the field. Click here to see a list of past speakers and programs.

The Life and Times of General Stephen Elliott, Jr.

Friday, September 15th – 3 PM – Presented by Lieutenant Colonel Neil Baxley, Beaufort County Sheriff.

Reservations: Please call 843-689-6767, ext. 224

Born in 1832, General Stephen Elliott, Jr. was one of Beaufort County’s favorite sons.  He was one of Beaufort’s most able military figures, known for his acts of bravery and outstanding leadership in the defense of Beaufort.  Elliott served as Lieutenant and later Captain of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery, which was based in the Beaufort Arsenal.  He fought for the Confederacy as a Brigadier General and served with the Palmetto Guards during the attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861 and in the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, Virginia. There, he was gravely wounded on July 30, 1864, while leading the South Carolina troops at the Union mine explosion point.  These battle wounds eventually led to his demise in 1866 while he was running for Congress of the United States. In his program Baxley will present a contrast between Stephen Elliott’s life as a planter before the war and his life as a practically destitute Confederate officer after the war.  He will also discuss the impact of the war on South Carolina during the Reconstruction Period that followed after the war.

Reflecting on Hurricane Matthew, One Year Later

Monday, October 9th – 5 PM – Coligny Theatre – Presented by Steve Riley, Hilton Head Island Town Manager

Hurricane Matthew made an unwelcome visit to Hilton Head Island in October, 2016. To reflect upon this historic event, the Coastal Discovery Museum has invited Hilton Head Island’s Town Manager, Steve Riley to the October session of the History Forum of the Lowcountry. Mr. Riley will review the preparation and response to the storm, the progress made to date, lessons learned, and what remains to be done.

Upcoming Programs:

November 3, 2017 – Commemorating Tomochichi in Savannah – Dr. Robin B. Williams (Savannah College of Art and Design)

December 2017 – TBD

January 2018 – African American Experience at Cockspur Island –  Amber DeBardelaben (Fort Pulaski National Monument)

February 15th, 2018 – Revolutionary War Trail in South Carolina – Doug Bostick (SC Battleground Trust)

March 1, 2018 – Rice Culture and Cultivation in the Antebellum Lowcountry – Richard Porcher (SC Historical Society)

March 2018 – Field Trip to Historic Bluffton – Heyward House Historic Center and Bluffton Historical Preservation Society

April 2018 – TBD

May 2018 – TBD