Marine biologist James McClintock will give the 'Ding' Darling Lecture on Friday, Feb. 2. Photo courtesy DDWS
Marine biologist James McClintock will give the 'Ding' Darling Lecture on Friday, Feb. 2. Photo courtesy DDWS

Marine biologist James McClintock has spent three decades studying a continent few people ever see for his book Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land. On Friday, Feb. 2, he will be presenting two free programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., part of the 2018 “Ding” Darling Lecture Series at J.N. “Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

One of the world's leading experts on Antarctica, McClintock introduces readers to this fascinating frozen world and the extraordinary wildlife that persists despite the harsh conditions. Baleen whales, leopard seals, king crabs, Adélie penguins, 50-foot algae, sea spiders, coral, and multicolored sea stars have historically populated Antarctica.

Now, as temperatures rise, the fragile Antarctic ecosystem is under attack. Lost Antarctica is an appeal to understand and appreciate the wondrous place at the bottom of the world that we are on the brink of losing.

McClintock is the endowed university professor of polar and marine biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Over the past decade, his research has encompassed studies of the impacts of rapid climate change and ocean acidification on Antarctic. His research has been featured in a variety of public media outlets including NPR, National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Discover Magazine, Scientific American Magazine, CNN, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and The Weather Channel. 

McClintock will sign copies of his book, available in the Refuge Nature Store, following the two lectures. Proceeds from Nature Store sales directly benefit refuge wildlife, education, and research.

HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management sponsors the 12-lecture series with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). The remaining free lectures are held twice each Friday (except on Feb. 9). Aside from the Strycker lecture, times are  10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The season’s complete schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all starred (*) lectures.

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save one extra seat each and then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time.

As usual, Wildlife Drive closes on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the free Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official recreation concession located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.

Note: Opinions expressed in guest lectures do not necessarily reflect the views of refuge and DDWS management, staff, and board of directors.

For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or log on to dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.  

*Feb. 2 – Author James McClintock, Lost Antarctica: Adventures in a Disappearing Land

Feb. 9 – NO LECTURE

Feb. 16 – Impersonator Joe Weigand, “Theodore Roosevelt Speaks out on Conservation”

*Feb. 23 – Author Stephen Kress, Puffin Project: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Sea Bird Back to Egg Rock

*March 2 – Author Larry Nielsen, Nature's Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World

*March 9 – Photographer Kevin Karlson, Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Vultures of North America

*March 16 – Author Tom Butler, Wildlands Philanthropy: The Great American Tradition

*March 23 – Photographer-sound recordist Gerrit Vyn, The Living Bird: 100 Years of Listening to Nature

*March 30 – Artist and author Dawn and Blair Witherington,  Florida's Living Beaches: A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber

April 6 – Mote Marine Researcher Dr. Erinn Muller, “Coral Restoration”

April 13 – Avian researcher Dr. Kenneth Meyer, “Swallow-tailed Kites: 10,000 Miles to Survival”

*starred lecture indicates book signing to follow

About DDWS

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at  239-472-1100 ext. 4, or dingdarlingsociety@gmail.com