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World-Renowned Oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle Kicks Off National Aquarium Lecture Series


The National Aquarium is proud to partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) to offer a glimpse into contemporary ocean issues in the 2014 Marjorie Lynn Bank Lecture Series, beginning with famed oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Earle, an American explorer, author and lecturer, kicks off the series with her session, “Hope: A Plan for Our Ocean” on February 27, 2014. In this lecture, Earle will share her experiences exploring “inner-space” to rally support for hope spots, which Earle describes as special places around the world that are critical to the health of the ocean.

“We are excited to have Dr. Sylvia Earle launch our 2014 Marjorie Lynn Bank lecture series. As we partner with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to bring attention to these special aquatic ecosystems and the people working hard to protect them, there is no better starting point than the work of Dr. Earle,” said Eric Schwaab, National Aquarium Chief Conservation Officer.

The year-long speaker series will highlight the diverse network of National Marine Sanctuaries and will give guests the opportunity to learn from experts who are working on the front line of ocean conservation and exploration including luminaries, scientists, explorers and artists.

“We are grateful to the National Aquarium for creating this opportunity to explore America’s underwater treasures without getting wet,” said Jason Patlis, NMSF president and CEO. “Our national marine sanctuaries protect the best of our American ocean, but they are often far offshore and difficult to reach; this lecture series brings national marine sanctuaries to the audience.”

Earle has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998, and was named Time magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet” in 1998. She recently released a film, Mission Blue, which traces her journey from her earliest memories exploring the ocean to her days leading a daring undersea mission.

“Hope: A Plan for Our Ocean”
Marjorie Lynn Bank Lecture Series featuring Dr. Sylvia Earle

$20 for National Aquarium members and $35 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 410-576-3869. Space is limited for this special event.

February 27, 2014
Reception - 6:30 pm
Lecture – 7:00 pm

National Aquarium
501 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

The National Aquarium will be broadcasting the series live via Google Hangout. More information can be found at

Additional lecture series events include “Ocean Soul: A Photojournalist’s Journey” with Brian Skerry on March 18; “The Power of Film: Inspiring Action for Monterey Bay” with Bob Talbot on April 22; and “Humpback Whale Rescue in the Hawaiian Islands” with Ed Lyman on May 7.

Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998, he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine. He will present a gripping portrait of the ocean as a place of beauty and mystery, a place in trouble, and ultimately, a place of hope that will rebound with the proper attention and care. Skerry has witnessed these rebounds in our own National Marine Sanctuaries and marine reserves areas around the world and uses his stunning photography to advocate for continued and increased protection of special ocean places. His work is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institutions’ National Museum of Natural History’s Sant Ocean Hall in an exhibit called Portraits of Planet Ocean.

As a world-renowned marine photographer, award-winning filmmaker and dedicated environmentalist, Bob Talbot is using the power of film to advocate for National Marine Sanctuaries and uses his gift to tell a story of change and recovery in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In Talbot’s remarkable career, he has combined his unique visual style and storytelling ability with state-of-the-art entertainment technologies to create intimate ocean experiences on film. National Aquarium visitors can enjoy Talbot’s work at the entrance to the Blue Wonders wing on our video wall.

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Large Whale Entanglement Response Coordinator, Ed Lyman, will share stories of trying to free whales from entanglement, and the value of science aimed toward protecting these gentle giants. Lyman manages a community-based response effort to release entangled large whales around the main Hawaiian Islands. He also assists NOAA Fisheries in addressing large whale entanglement response in Alaska and the US West Coast. Ed Lyman has participated in more than 70 large whale disentanglements.

Tickets for the March, April and May events will be $10 for National Aquarium members and $20 for non-members. Further information and tickets for these events can be found at

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as trustee for a system of 14 marine protected areas, encompassing more than 170,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes waters. Through active research, management and public engagement, National Marine Sanctuaries sustain healthy environments that are the foundation for thriving communities and stable economies.