Registration is requested for all programs, which start at 7 p.m. in the Aquarium’s Simons IMAX® Theatre unless otherwise noted. Programs last approximately one hour. Most lectures are recorded and available for viewing on the lecture series archive page.
Call 617-973-6596 with questions about our lectures, RSVPing, or for more information.
The President’s and the People’s Fish: The Cultural and Historical Importance of Atlantic Salmon in New England
Tuesday, October 30
Catherine Schmitt, author of The President’s Salmon; and the Honorable Madonna Soctomah, former Passamaquoddy Tribal Representative with the Maine State Legislature and St. Croix International Waterway Commissioner
Every spring for thousands of years, the rivers that empty into the North Atlantic Ocean turn silver with migrating fish. The king of fish, the Atlantic salmon, once swam among the crowded schools. From New York to Labrador, from Russia to Portugal, sea-bright salmon defied current, tide, and gravity, driven inland by instinct and memory to the very streams where they emerged from gravel nests years before. Their journey inspired myths, stories, and cultural traditions across their range. For 80 years, the first Atlantic salmon caught by anglers in Maine’s Penobscot River was presented to the President of the United States, one of many “first fish” rituals around the world and part of the intertwined history of people and nature.
This lecture is part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s International Year of the Salmon, an effort to raise awareness about the challenges salmon face from environmental change and human activities across the Northern Hemisphere.
Inclusive Community Resilience Building in East Boston
Thursday, November 1
Panelists are Magdalena Ayed, Founder of Harborkeepers; Alex DeFronzo, Executive Director of Piers Park Sailing Center; and Kannan Thiruvengadam, Founder of Eastie Farm. Moderated by John Anderson, Director of Education, New England Aquarium
Communities across the United States are facing a variety of changes and challenges. Three East Boston leaders are taking steps to engage diverse residents in activities to help foster community resilience in light of the challenges. The New England Aquarium is collaborating with these leaders on a project called Communities Advancing Science Literacy. The panelists will discuss why they do their work, how it is making a positive difference, and how more people can get involved to foster community resilience.
The panelists include Magdalena Ayed, Alex DeFronzo, and Kannan Thiruvengadam.
Ayed founded Harborkeepers to build coastal community resiliency and foster environmentalstewardship through education, engagement, and advocacy.
DeFronzo is the Executive Director of Piers Park Sailing Center, which offers 100 percent accessible recreational, educational, and personal growth opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in Boston Harbor. Piers Park empowers participants to become stewards of a stronger community, advocates for a healthy Boston Harbor, and leaders of individual and family wellness.
Thiruvengadam founded Eastie Farm to improve food access and community resilience by developing interactive urban agricultural spaces, where residents of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to learn and take part in the production of healthy, locally grown, and culturally relevant foods.
Community partner ZUMIX will gather short audio interviews about building community resilience. It will invite participation before and after the panel discussion in the IMAX lobby. ZUMIX is an East Boston not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth to use music to make positive change in their lives and communities.
Diplomacy and Intrigue in the Arctic
Thursday, November 8
David Balton, Senior Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Former Ambassador for Oceans and Fisheries, U.S. Department of State
The Arctic region is undergoing profound changes, driven primarily by a warming climate. The nations and peoples of the Arctic are struggling to adapt to these changes. Over the past decade–and despite all manner of friction in the relationship between the United States and Russia–a new international architecture for governing the Arctic is beginning to emerge. Ambassador David A. Balton, who has played a key role in building this architecture, will review the state of play and consider what may lie ahead in the coming years.
Ambassador Balton is a Senior Fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science, attaining the rank of Ambassador in 2006. He was responsible for coordinating the development of U.S. foreign policy concerning oceans and fisheries, and overseeing U.S. participation in international organizations dealing with these issues. His portfolio included managing U.S. foreign policy issues relating to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Ambassador Balton functioned as the lead U.S. negotiator on a wide range of agreements in the field of oceans and fisheries and chaired numerous international meetings. During the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2015-2017), he served as Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials. His prior Arctic Council experience included co-chairing the Arctic Council Task Forces that produced the 2011 Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic and the 2013 Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic. He separately chaired negotiations that produced the Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.