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 – 2019:

The Coastal Discovery Museum’s Discovery Lecture Series offers weekly from October through April. Please check the online calendar (or follow the links below) to register.

The Many Benefits of Sharks

Wednesday, April 24th – 3 PM
Dr. Kim Ritchie – Professor, University of South Carolina Beaufort

People tend to think of sharks as dangerous, indiscriminate predators. Dr. Ritchie aims to make you think differently about sharks and their benefits to humans, our ecosystems and our planet. She will also discuss some of our local sharks and their antibiotic-producing microbial partners.

Kim Ritchie received a PhD at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill before postdoctoral studies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.  Dr. Ritchie was Senior Scientist and Manager of the Coral Reef Ecology and Microbiology Program at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, for 14 years before moving to South Carolina. She is now Professor at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, studying coral reefs and sharks and their beneficial microbes. Dr. Ritchie also explores the use of shark beneficial bacteria as a novel source of antibiotics for humans. Register Here.

Sea Turtle Conservation: A Changing Landscape

Thursday, April 25th – 3 PM
Kelly Thorvalson – Conservation Programs Manager, South Carolina Aquarium

Rapid environmental changes pose a significant threat to sea turtles across the globe and traditional conservation strategies may not be sufficient to save these threatened and endangered species. In addition to triaging sick and injured sea turtles in our Sea Turtle Care Center, the South Carolina Aquarium is working to proactively mitigate environmental risk factors impacting sea turtles in the wild. In collaboration with MDI Biological Laboratory, the SC Aquarium partners with organizations to crowdsource meaningful, actionable environmental data to conserve sea turtles and other marine life by improving the health and safety of our shared physical environment. Join us to discover how you can help us protect sea turtles into the future.

Kelly Thorvalson is a native of Georgetown, SC and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston. Kelly began working with the South Carolina Aquarium in 1999, a year before the Aquarium opened its doors. In addition to helping build the initial animal collection, Kelly helped with the first sea turtles admitted for rehabilitation in 2000. From 2004-2016, Kelly managed the Sea Turtle Care Center, greatly developing the program, including a major expansion that opened in 2017. In Kelly’s current position as Conservation Programs Manager, she is helping to advance sea turtle conservation initiatives in relation to sustainable seafood, climate change, sea level rise, and plastic pollution. Register Here.

Marine Mammals of South Carolina

Wednesday May 1st – 3 PM
Al Segars – Retired Veterinarian, SCDNR

Join Dr. Al Segars, retired veterinarian with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, for a presentation on the marine mammals sharing our coast focusing on the critically endangered the Northern Right Whale. Topics will include dolphins, whales, manatees, seals and the latest information on Right Whales and appropriate behavior around marine mammals. Dr. Al Segars is a retired veterinarian with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources with a long career studying the endangered and threatened species in our coast. Register Here.

Lowcountry Dragonflies

Wednesday May 8th – 3 PM
Vicky McMillan – Retired Biologist Colgate University, Island Packet columnist

Join us to learn about the dragonflies inhabiting Hilton’s Head’s lagoons. Find out how these fascinating insects feed, find mates, defend territories, and reproduce.   There will be a handout on some of the most common Hilton Head Island species.  Biologist Vicky McMillan was on the faculty of Colgate University, in Hamilton, NY, for 30 years, where she taught biology and scientific writing and conducted research on dragonfly behavior.  McMillan moved to Hilton Head Island in 2007, and continues to study and write about dragonflies, which have been a strong interest of hers since childhood. She also writes the “Natural Lowcountry” column for The Island Packet newspaper. Register Here.

A Community-based Oyster Shell Recycling and Bed Restoration Project

Wednesday May 15th – 3 PM
Jean Fruh – Executive Director, The Outside Foundation

Jean Fruh will discuss how a small, local, grassroots non-profit (TOF) received funding from an environmental giant, Patagonia Inc., to establish a community-based oyster shell recycling and bed restoration project here on Hilton Head Island. Jean is the Executive Director of The Outside Foundation. The Outside Foundation, a 501c3, was formed in 2014 with a mission to get kids outside and to protect and preserve our local environment. Jean is in her 14th year at Outside Brands where she serves as an interpretive naturalist/kayak guide, standup paddle board instructor, and internship program coordinator. Jean is a certified Low Country Master Naturalist and ACA L-2 Paddle Boarding Instructor. She currently serves on the “Keep Beaufort County Beautiful” Board and is a volunteer for Volunteers in Medicine. Register Here.

What is Happening to our Bees?

Wednesday May 22nd – 3 PM
David Arnal – President of the Beaufort-Jasper Beekeepers Association in South Carolina

This presentation will focus on the two most commonly asked questions by the non-beekeeper 1.) What is happening to the bees? & 2,) What can I do to help the bees? We will attempt answer these questions through the lens of science with a particular focus on Bee Biology and the Natural History of the Honey Bee, including its introduction into North America right here in Beaufort County, South Carolina at the Spanish settlement of Santa Elena in 1564.

David Arnal is a local bee keeper with more than 50 colonies under his care in the Lowcountry. David has been growing bees for over 27 years, and his honey is for sale at several Farmers Markets and stores through around the Lowcountry including the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, where David keeps eight active colonies. David Arnal is the President of the Beaufort-Jasper Beekeepers Association in South Carolina. And teaches a class on advanced beekeeping at the Savannah Bee School. Register Here.

Osprey Watch

Wednesday May 29th – 3 PM
Kristen Mattson – Environmental Educator, LowCountry Institute

Learn why ospreys are important sentinels of environmental health and better understand their life history including nesting, migration, and feeding. Summary data from 10 years of local osprey breeding observations will be presented as well.  Kristen Marshall Mattson is an environmental educator for the LowCountry Institute and Spring Island Trust. She is a co-instructor of the Master Naturalist program and host of “Night Skies Over Beaufort County”. She has a background teaching biology in higher education and holds a master’s degree in ecology from the University of Florida. 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.

Sheriff McTeer and Bootleggers of Beaufort County

Friday, April 5th – 3 PM

Join us to hear Neil Baxley as he recounts the life of James Edwin McTeer (1903-1979) who was the Sheriff of Beaufort County for 37 years.  When McTeer was appointed sheriff to fulfill the unexpired term of his father in 1926, he was 22 years old and the youngest sheriff in the United States.  His law enforcement career included interactions with murderers, nudists, bootleggers, and root doctors.  The plaque on the McTeer Bridge that crosses from Port Royal Island to Lady’s Island describes him this way:  “Legendary lawman, author, spellbinder, and raconteur.”

Neil Baxley, is a native of North Carolina and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.  He is a lecturer, an expert on the history of Beaufort County, and the author of two books:  No Prouder Fate–The Story of the 11th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry and Walk in the Light–The Story of the 10th and 19th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiments.

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