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Ken Norris Memorial Lecture

Ken Norris PoolJoin 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
Closed Labor Day

Ken Norris Memorial Lecture

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Science Sunday:
The Extreme Life of the Sea

Sunday, September 21
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