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Lunch & Learn Lecture


Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
300 Tower Road
Naples, FL 34113
(239) 530-5940 

Date and Time

  • Tue, Feb 2, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Mar 1, noon - 1 pm
  • Tue, Apr 5, noon - 1 pm


Rookery Bay hosts a lunch lecture series from October through April, with speakers discussing environmental or local cultural topics. Lunch and dessert provided by Carrabba's and Costco.

The lecture is free for members and $10 for non-members and includes admission to the Environmental Learning Center. Reservations are strongly recommended.

  • Tue, Feb 2, 2016, noon - 1 pm
    A Snapshot in Time
    Understanding landscape-scale status and trends of critically important aquatic and coastal upland habitats is crucial for resource management. RBNERR recently completed work toward producing its first ever comprehensive maps that classify and enumerate the relative acreages of the various aquatic and upland habitat types contained within the Reserve's managed area. These maps are an important tool with which researchers and resource managers can begin to investigate how these habitats have responded to land-use changes, how they will respond to future changes including the effects from sea level rise, and can serve as a basis for designing and implementing resource management/restoration strategies that can allow for these habitats to be more resilient to natural and anthropogenic changes.
    Kevin Cunniff is a coastal/estuarine ecologist, with particular expertise in seagrass habitats, who has been working in south Florida estuarine ecosystems since 1999. Cunniff has served as RBNERR’s Research Coordinator since November 2013, and prior to his tenure at the Reserve worked for six years with the South Florida Water Management District in the Florida Bay and Southern Everglades Ecosystems Research Group. Cunniff also spent time working in the private sector assessing resource damage to marine seagrass and brackish submerged aquatic vegetation habitats related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Most recently, Cunniff was a researcher in the Seagrass Ecosystems Research Laboratory at Florida International University where he was conducting long-term research on seagrass and water quality trends in the ecotonal mangrove lakes of northern Florida Bay in Everglades National Park.
  • Tue, Mar 1, noon - 1 pm
    Channelized Freshwater Flow Effects on Estuarine Fish Nurseries
    This talk will provide an overview of 15 years of fisheries data as it relates to altered freshwater flows in eastern Collier County’s watershed with special emphasis on the Picayune Strand Restoration Project and current estuarine conditions.
    Patrick O’Donnell joined the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in 1998 as an Environmental Specialist with expertise in fisheries research. In his position, he heads up two fisheries monitoring programs in the Ten Thousand Islands to collect baseline data on fish, sharks and commercially-important shellfish species prior to a large-scale restoration project slated for the southwestern Everglades in the coming decade. His projects utilize VOLUNTEERS to help to collect fisheries data relevant to restoration activities.
  • Tue, Apr 5, noon - 1 pm
    Deepwater Horizon: Five Years Later
    Program will focus on lessons learned from the largest oil spill in maritime history, including the role of the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in working and coordinating with the U.S Coast Guard, and coastal managers from across Florida and the Gulf. Updates from ongoing research in the Gulf of Mexico to learn more about environmental impacts related to the event will be discussed.
    Gary Lytton received his academic training in biology and marine science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the University of South Florida. He served as the Director for the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve for 25 years prior to retiring in 2015, where he received national recognition by NOAA and the Clinton and Bush Administrations for his work in coastal management and environmental education and training. Lytton has two daughters, and is currently serving as the Executive Director for the Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports the mission of the Rookery Bay Reserve.

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Last updated: February 04, 2016

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