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 – 2018 – 19:

The Coastal Discovery Museum’s Discovery Lecture Series will be offered weekly in the fall beginning in early October. Please check the online calendar (or follow the links below) to register.

H.L. Hunley – Its History, Recovery, and Restoration

Wednesday, October 24th- 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Steve Quick –   Living Historian

Not named until after the tragic death on board of its benefactor the H.L. Hunley went on to be the first successful submarine attack in history. Its first was unfortunately also its last. Lost until its discovery in a watery grave off SC in 1996, it has been under the microscope since it was raised. It has stubbornly clung to many of its secrets for 18 years.Since 2000 living historian Steve Quick has told the story across the upper Midwest to schools, libraries, museums, round tables and historical events. Relocating to SC he now brings this one of a kind story home. Part history, part technology, part mystery there is something in this compelling story for everyone.  Register Here.

Lowcountry Bats

Wednesday, October 31st- 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Nancy Owens –  Licensed Wildlife Educator

Bats are one of Earth’s most maligned Creatures, partly because of myths, the media, and lack of knowledge.   This program will try to dispel the myths, heal some of the media damage and teach the wonderful facts about Bats.   Nancy (Maudi) Owen will introduce the audience to Batman and Radar, 2 non-releasable Big Brown Bats.  Earth’s Bats are at risk right now and the more we can understand and help them, the healthier our planet and our lives will be.Nancy, also known as “Maudi” Owen is the co-founder and co-owner/operator of Gryphon Den, which is located on 3 acres beside beautiful marshland on St. Helena Island, SC. A federally Licensed Wildlife Educator, she runs “Creatures of the Night”, which is a non-profit (501c3), educational program devoted to creating awareness in Humans of our natural world, and concern for creatures with whom we share the Earth. Register Here. 

Diamondback Terrapins: Biology and Conservation

Wednesday, November 7th – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Erin Levesque – Manager of Waddell Mariculture Center (SC Department of Natural Resources)

Come and learn from expert biologist Erin Levesque about the unique Diamond Back Terrapin, the all-time resident turtle of the Lowcountry Salt Marsh. This presentation will focus on the biology of these unique turtles as well as past and present challenges facing diamondback terrapin populations. A description of terrapin culture will illustrate our efforts to responsibly utilize lab-raised animals to supplement depleted populations while learning more about the biology of wild terrapins. Erin Levesque is the new manager of the Waddell Mariculture Center and a Biologist with the Estuarine Finfish Section, SC Department of Natural Resources. She assists in culture of recreationally important finfish, sampling wild populations of finfish and educating the public about various programs within the Marine Resources Division. Erin has a M.S. in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston, a B.S. in Marine Science from Eckerd College and has been employed by SCDNR since 2000. Register Here.

The ACE Basin

Wednesday, November 14th – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Nicholas Wallover – Regional Biologist for the ACE Basin

The ACE Basin is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries along the Atlantic Coast. The ACE Basin is an acronym that represents the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto rivers, which combine into the larger St. Helena Sound and drain a significant portion of the Lowcountry region. The 350,000 acre area is renowned for its natural beauty and commitment to preservation of marshes, wetlands, hardwood forests, and riverine systems and the various fauna that occupy the area. This large conservation area offers opportunities for recreational activities, such as hunting, fishing, boating, bird watching, hiking, bicycling, and other nature related activities The ACE Basin has been deemed “One of the Last Great Places” by The Nature Conservancy. Nicholas Wallover is currently the Regional Biologist for the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve and Manager of the McKenzie Field Station at Bennett’s Point. He has worked on numerous coastal protected species including sea turtles, shorebirds, and dolphins. Register Here.

Plastic Waste in the Lowcountry

Wednesday, November 21st – 3 PM $7 per person
Michelle Meissen – Palmetto Ocean Conservancy

Michelle Meissen, Founder/CEO Palmetto Ocean Conservancy, Guardians of the Sea will discuss the impact of the plastic industry in our oceans and our environment. Palmetto Ocean Conservancy has started several local efforts with the goal to spread awareness and encourage recycling and recovery of plastic. Come and learn about the impact plastic waste in our lowcountry environment and the things you can do to help.  Register Here.

The Sargasso Sea

Wednesday, November 28th – 3 PM $7 per person
Captain Tom Anderson –  Retired physician

A unique combination of atmospheric winds and sea currents have created a special area in the Western Atlantic Ocean called the Sargasso Sea.  This part of the ocean is home to thriving marine ecosystem that contains a fascinating array of interesting plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.

The first mariner to realize that the Sargasso Sea is different from the surrounding ocean was Christopher Columbus.  He commented on the clear, blue water, the unusually fair weather, and the extensive abundance of floating seaweed that he feared would trap his ships. This seaweed, called Sargassum Weed, eventually gave the Sargasso Sea its name.  The large extent of this seaweed has been called the “Golden Rain Forest of the Ocean”, because it hosts and supports an extraordinary variety of marine animals.  Clumps of this seaweed frequently wash up on coasts and barrier islands of the SE coast, sometimes carrying interesting marine animals.

Our proximity to the Sargasso Sea gives this mid ocean area an opportunity to influence our local weather here in the low-country.  Atmospheric steering currents created by high pressure over the Sargasso Sea influence both the timing and frequency of late season hurricanes.  Join us for a light introduction to the Sargasso Sea, meet some of the truly amazing animals that live here, learn about the seaweed that lines our beaches, find out where the Bermuda Triangle really is, and maybe collect a couple of interesting seaweed recipes.

After completing his education, he joined the U. S. Navy as a medical officer, and practiced Emergency Medicine, Aerospace Medicine, and Undersea Medicine for most of his adult life. Tom’s academic achievements include an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics, a Master of Science degree and a PhD in Physics, a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Master of Public Health degree in International Health.  He resides in Bluffton, SC with his wife Elaine.  His hobbies include flying sailplanes, diving, woodworking, and traveling. Register Here.

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.

$10 nonmembers, $5 basic members, n/c for supporting and above membership level – Please call 843-689-6767, ext. 224 to register. Online reservations are not available for these programs.

Robert Smalls – Statesman

Tuesday, October 23rd – 2:30 PM
Dennis Canady

Dennis Cannady will present the life of Robert Smalls, the Statesman.  Born into slavery in 1839 in Beaufort, South Carolina, Smalls was self-educated and became an expert pilot on boats, notably the Planter, in and around Charleston Harbor.  Through a daring act, he won his freedom from slavery.  We will follow Smalls’ political career from the Beaufort County School Board to both houses of the South Carolina State Legislature and five terms in the U. S. Congress.  Smalls became one of the most important and successful political figures during Reconstruction.  Cannady will discuss this and the local politics around Tillman, the Red Coats, and Wade Hampton.

Stolen Charleston: The Spoils of War

Monday, November 26th – 3 PM
J. Grahame Long, Chief Curator – The Charleston Museum

Join us on November 26, 2018, when author and historian J. Grahame Long recounts how Charleston, one of the wealthiest cities at the time, was also a symbolic target for her enemies of the 1780s and 1860s.  It seemed that no church, no business, no private home was off limits to marauders during both the American Revolution and the Civil War.  An exact tally of Charleston’s lost elegance remains difficult to quantify.  Even though most of its treasures are still gone, fortunately some pieces will occasionally turn up centuries later in the most unlikely places.

Resisting the rising tide of Jim Crow after the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893

Monday, December 17th – 3 PM
Caroline Grego – Ph.D. Candidate – University of Colorado, Boulder

The deadly hurricane of August 1893 had devastating immediate impacts on coastal South Carolina, sweeping away the homes and livelihoods of tens of thousands of South Carolinians and killing at least 1500 people. However, the storm had longer term consequences as well. The hurricane was a turning point in Lowcountry history because of its role in accelerating white supremacist processes of dispossession and disenfranchisement of Black sea islanders — though African Americans on the coast fought for their rights, their land, and their autonomy every step of the way. The storm-struck sea islands, as one of the last bastions of Black political power in the South, became the battleground on which white supremacists, Black sea islanders, and a few white allies clashed over both hurricane recovery and the future of the white supremacist state.

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