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:

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.


Wintering Golden Eagles in South Carolina

Wednesday, January 17th – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Mark Vukovich – USDA Forest Service – Savannah Research Station, Savannah River Site

Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) are rare winter residents in eastern North America, with most found along the Appalachian Mountains and few reported on the coastal plain of the Carolinas. Vukovic will describe how his team used remote cameras baited with animal carcasses to detect, age, and individually identify Golden Eagles on the Savannah River Site on the coastal plain of South Carolina. The discovery of wintering Golden Eagles on the Savannah River Site helped initiate a state-wide effort to better document wintering Golden Eagles. The results of this three-year state-wide effort will be presented along with other new developments.  Identification of important wintering areas of Golden Eagles will be an important step in the conservation of this protected species, and camera traps baited with carcasses can be an effective tool for such work.

Mark Vukovich has worked for the USDA Forest Service-Southern Research Station at the Savannah River Site for 12 years. Mark is a certified wildlife biologist with variable research experience and publications on birds, deer, and wild pigs. Mark has conducted research on Northern Harriers, Short-eared Owls and raptor use of reclaimed grasslands in Kentucky and has worked for HawkWatch International and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Register Here.

Shore Bird Migration – SOLD OUT

Wednesday, January 24th – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Nicholas Wallover – ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve and Manager of McKenzie Field Station at Bennett’s Point

Every spring, thousands of shorebirds utilize South Carolina’s beach and marsh habitats.  These habitats provide critical stopover areas for birds on their northbound migration to breeding sites, while others will nest in these beautiful coastal landscapes of South Carolina.  Come learn about the important role SC plays in the life cycle of spring migrants and local nesting species, and what we can do to protect this incredible part of our state’s natural heritage.

Wading Birds in South Carolina – SOLD OUT

Wednesday, January 31st – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Christine Hand – SCDNR

The colonial wading birds of South Carolina are a diverse and fascinating group of birds. This presentation will provide information about the ecology, conservation, and management of wading birds across the state, including information about the conservation status and overall health of the species of wading birds present in South Carolina.

Christy Hand is a wildlife biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and wading birds and marsh birds are her primary focus. Prior to joining the SCDNR in 2011, she participated in a variety of waterbird research projects from the Everglades in Florida to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Christy completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (Biology) at Earlham College in 2003 and a Master of Science degree (Wildlife Biology) at Clemson University in 2008. The topic of her graduate thesis was American Oystercatcher Foraging Ecology in the Cape Romain Region of South Carolina. She is particularly interested in waterbird ecology and conservation.


Brown Pelican Ecology

Wednesday, February 7th – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Juliet Lamb – marine ecologist at University of Rhode Island

The Brown Pelican is an iconic species of the South Carolina coast, but until recently there was little information on their migration patterns and habitat preferences outside their terrestrial breeding colonies. This talk will discuss recent work using GPS technology to study the movements of Brown Pelicans throughout the year and understand key habitat needs and risk factors for this beloved but little-known seabird.

Juliet Lamb is currently a marine ecologist at the University of Rhode Island, where she studies the ecology of sea ducks. Previously, she spent five years studying Brown Pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico and along the South Carolina coast. She has studied seabirds and wildlife all over the world, including in Maine, California, Oregon, Scotland, and Ecuador. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from Clemson University. Register Here.

Protecting our Nation’s Birds

Wednesday, February 14th – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Joel Vos – Education Coordinator at US Fish and Wildlife Service – Savannah Coastal Refuge Complex

Join Joel Vos for an introduction to the history of fulfilling the mission of the USFWS’ National Wildlife Refuge System.  Learn the roots of migratory bird conservation in America, and discuss the amazing opportunities to view birds and other wildlife at nearby National Wildlife Refuges. Joel Vos has been working for the USFWS since 2015, and was previously stationed in Homer, AK at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.  He has lived, worked, and played in Minnesota, Oregon, Alaska, and Georgia, and enjoys hiking, camping, birding, and fly fishing.  He has a Masters degree in Education, and an Environmental Education Certificate from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College. Register Here.

Lowcountry Snakes

Friday, February 23rd – 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Tony Mills, Education Director at the LowCountry Institute

Learn about the natural history of many snakes commonly found in the lowcountry. From the venomous rattle snakes to colorful milk snakes, our region is home to numerous species that play essential roles in our ecosystem. Join Tony Mills from the LowCountry Institute for an up close and personal session with these fascinating cold blooded animals. Live snakes will be shown. Mills is the co-author of Lizards and Crocodilians of the Southeast and currently the co-producer and host of the television program “Coastal Kingdom.” Register Here.

The Uniqueness of Port Royal Sound

Wednesday, February 28th- 3 PM $7 per person
Presented by Kristen Marshall Mattson, Envrionmental Educator at the LowCountry Institute

The Port Royal Sound stands apart from other estuaries on the East coast. It is a submerged coastline created by rising sea level, exceptionally high tides, and unique geology. The result is a vast expanse of salt marsh, a critical marine habitat. Come learn about this unique environment and how it was formed, as well as about the fantastic biodiversity that lives here. Mattson is the co-instructor for the Master Naturalist program and the host of “Night Skies Over Beaufort County.”  Register Here.

Additional programs planned include:


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.


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



From Slave to Soldier and Beyond – Uncovering the Stories of Cockspur Island’s African American Residents

January 23rd – 3 PM – Amber DeBardelaben (Fort Pulaski National Monument)

Cockspur Island, situated across the South Carolina / Georgia border and south of Daufuskie Island, is visible from the southern end of Hilton Head Island. Best known as the site of the Fort Pulaski National Monument, there’s more to the story of the island than its military significance. Join Amber DeBardelaben at the Coastal Discovery Museum to learn more about the history of this nearby island including the construction of the Fort, Battle at Fort Pulaski, the area’s role in the Underground Railroad, and the days following freedom.

Amber DeBardelaben is a Park Ranger and Education Coordinator at Fort Pulaski National Monument. She was born in Houston and raised in Western Pennsylvania. Upon graduating from college, she proved her parents wrong by actually finding a job using her history degree as a National Park Ranger in New Mexico. The grandchild of coal miners and oil rig workers, she went back to school and received her Master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Energy Policy, focusing on the economic impacts of climate change in rural areas. She moved to Savannah two years ago and fell in love with the Lowcountry. Or, as her grandma says, she finally “came home” to Georgia.

Defending Port Royal

February 15th – 3 PM – Doug Bostick (SC Battleground Trust)

In January 1779, British troops were dispatched to capture Port Royal Island, in order to control the largest deep-water harbor south of New York. What Major William Gardner did not count on was facing Brigadier General William Moultrie commanding the South Carolina militia and two signers of the Declaration of Independence, now trained as expert artillerymen. Learn about a small but fascinating battle as Moultrie made effective use of the South Carolina Rangers, South Carolina Riflemen, and the 3rd South Carolina Militia including the Company of “Free Citizens,” a company of Jewish merchants from Charles Town. Efforts are underway to preserve this important battlefield as part of the South Carolina Liberty Trail.

Douglas W. Bostick is a native of James Island and is an 8th generation South Carolinian. His South Carolina ancestors date back to colonial America, including the secretary of the Sons of Liberty during the Revolutionary War. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina. Doug is the author of 26 books and his knowledge of history is enhanced by a gift for storytelling. He speaks on a wide range of topics related to Southern and South Carolina history. Doug currently serves as Executive Director and CEO of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust. In this role, he is co-director of the South Carolina Liberty Trail.

March 1, 2018 –3 PM –  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 – Naval Station on Port Royal – 1883-1906 – Stephen Wise (Parris Island Museum)

May 21st 2018 – 3 PM –  Charles Fraser and the early development of Sea Pines – Will Bryan (Georgia State University)