Ken Norris Memorial Lecture

When ocean science is “The Family Business”

A unique perspective on work, family, and the future of our blue planet
Ocean Duos
Read the Review!

A discussion with six scientists (three married couples) who study the ocean.  Moderated by Michael Watkins, Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools

Thursday, November 20, 2014
7-8:30 PM

(Row one)
Giacomo Bernardi, Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Nicole Crane, Senior Conservation Scientist Oceanic Society, Biology Professor at Cabrillo College

(Row two)
Mary Yoklavich, Fisheries Research Biologist, Supervisor at NOAA Fisheries

Jim Harvey, Director of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

(Row three)
Don Croll, Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Diana Steller, Research Faculty / Diving Safety Officer, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Ken Norris Memorial Lecture is free. Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Sponsored by Naomi Kirschenbaum

Join us each fall for this outstanding tradition––thoughtful topics and renowned thinkers in an intimate setting. This annual lecture is named in honor of Ken Norris and his big-picture thinking. Ken was a scientist, naturalist, conservationist, teacher, and a long-time UC Santa Cruz professor of natural history. He was known for his pioneering work with dolphins, helping to author landmark federal legislation protecting marine mammals in the 1970s, establishing the University of California Natural Reserve System, and for being part of the team that founded the Long Marine Lab.

A few examples of topics addressed in past Ken Norris Memorial Lectures:

  • “Dr. Ocean” — A Lively Discussion with Three Marine Wildlife Veterinarians. Press Release
  • Renewable Energy from the Ocean: Discussion of public policy and regulatory guidelines, the physical challenges involved in developing the technology to harness energy from the ocean, and understanding its potential impacts on the ocean environment and ocean life.
  • Global Climate Change: A range of perspectives on climate science, the effects of global warming, and policy options.
  • Sustainable Fisheries: Perspectives on the challenges facing fisheries on the West Coast and around the world, including the future of seafood, the politics of fish and the oceans, and the management of West Coast groundfish fisheries.
  • Women in Marine Science: Highlights about extraordinary women in marine science crossing several generations.
  • Perspectives on Ocean Health and Policy: A discussion about our dependence on the oceans for food, jobs, recreation and solace. Ocean currents circulate the energy and water that regulate the earth’s climate and weather and thus affect many aspects of the human experience.

Speakers have included:

  • Barbara Block, Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station;
    MacArthur Foundation Fellow
  • Dave Casper, Veterinarian, UC Santa Cruz
  • John Laird, California Secretary of Natural Resources; former three-term member of the California Assembly
  • Dan Kammen, Professor of Energy, Public Policy, Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley; Nobel Peace Prize Contributing Lead Author for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Marcia McNutt, Former Director of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute; former director of the United States Geological Survey; science adviser to the United States Secretary of the Interior
  • Melissa Miller, Veterinarian, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Mike Murray, Veterinarian, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Julie Packard, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense; Former Director of the CIA; Presidential Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton, senior statesmen
  • Kathleen Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Acting NOAA Administrator, NOAA Chief Scientist; former astronaut

The Norris Lecture is conducted every October/November. Please check our calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Days & Hours

Tuesday - Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM
Open Mondays, July and August
Holiday Closure, July 3-4


A live television event celebrating some of the world’s most amazing marine creatures airing August 31 – September 2 at 8 PM on PBS.

September 20

Join assistant professor Eric Palkovacs as he describes the way humans are shaping evolution on our planet today, through his work focusing on freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Attention Teachers!
Information and applications now available for K-14 marine science education programs at the Seymour Center.

September 20-26

Visit the Seymour Center all week for special otter activities. Free public lecture, September 23, 7PM.

Now recruiting for volunteers for two programs: School Programs Instructors and Exhibit Guides. Join the fun!

You'll see a lot of construction taking place here at the Coastal Science Campus but know, the Seymour Center is open for business as usual. Come visit!


Stay informed about tours, activiites & events throughout the year



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