It is probably safe to say that nearly everyone loves being by the sea. Whether it is gazing at a distant view, walking along the shore, or viewing into an aquarium, there is a natural attraction and resulting peacefulness. So according to marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, Ph.D., why not capture that “blue mind” and use our brains to conserve the ocean. To hear more about his passionate theories, real research and life experiences, attend The Eleanor & Henry Watts Speaker Series on Sunday, February 19, at 2 p.m. in the Virginia Aquarium 3D IMAX® Theater. The hour-long presentation, “Going Blue: Get your Mind on Using Our Brain to Conserve the Ocean,” is free.
Nichols is a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, and he is spearheading The Ocean Revolution, a program that inspires, involves and mentors the next generation of ocean conservation leaders. He earned his Masters of Environmental Management in Environmental Policy and Economics from Duke University’s Nicholas School, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Wildlife Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Arizona.
“His cutting-edge research and motivational appeal, coupled with his interest in sea turtles, made him an ideal speaker for our audience,” said Virginia Aquarium Director of Research and Conservation Mark Swingle. Nichols is also involved with http://seethewild.org/ which has a sea turtle conservation tourism project, http://www.bluemarbles.org/ a global outreach campaign, and BLUEMIND: The Mind = Ocean Initiative, connecting neuroscience with the ocean.
Nichols’ work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Time, Newsweek and other international media. He is the author of more than fifty scientific papers, book chapters, and popular articles. In addition, he was a scientific advisor and writer for the children's book Chelonia: Return of the Sea Turtle and co-authored the screenplay Adelita's Journey based on the true story of one loggerhead sea turtle's epic twenty-four thousand kilometer migration from Japan to Mexico and back again.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation hosts The Eleanor & Henry Watts Speaker Series. The Foundation is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring conservation of the marine environment through education, research and sustainable practices. The Foundation was formed in 1981, three years before construction on the Aquarium even began. Over the years, the Foundation’s role in support of the Aquarium has not only included garnering financial support to pay for the Aquarium’s exhibits, but it has expanded to include funding of education programs, and research and conservation efforts.