Since 1972, the Aquarium has been providing free lectures and films by scientists, environmental writers, photographers, and others. Lectures are free and open to the public.

Most past lectures are recorded and available for viewing on the lecture series archive page.

June 20, 2022 • 6:30–7:30 p.m. • via Zoom

Black Courage Upon the Sea: A Juneteenth Celebration of Robert Smalls

A conversation with Michael Boulware Moore and Admiral Cecil Haney USN (Ret)

Robert Smalls courtesy of Michael Boulware MooreJoin us on June 20 to hear the incredible story of Robert Smalls, an intrepid Black man who took command of a Confederate ship called The Planter in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 13, 1862, and liberated himself and his family from enslavement. After the Civil War, he continued public service in a variety of roles, including five terms as a US Congressman. Living on Earth Host Steve Curwood will talk with Robert Smalls’ great-great-grandson Michael Boulware Moore and Admiral Cecil Haney USN (Ret), one of only three Black four-star admirals in US Navy history, about Black courage, liberation, and the bold pursuit of a better future. Photo of Robert Smalls courtesy of Michael Boulware Moore.

This livestreamed event is presented by Living on Earth, the New England Aquarium, the Lowell Institute, and the UMass Boston School for the Environment.



June 22, 2022 • 6:30–7:30 p.m. • In person or via Zoom

Exploring Massachusetts and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

A conversation with underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen

Keith EllenbogenJoin us for this New England Aquarium Lecture Series event featuring acclaimed underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen, whose work can be seen in “Space to Sea: A Photographic Journey into Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary,” on view through November 1 on Boston’s Central Wharf. Ellenbogen is known for his intimate portraits of underwater life that captivate the imagination and compel interest in the natural world. His photography of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary offers an up-close look at an ocean ecosystem that helps perpetuate life-sustaining food chains throughout Massachusetts Bay and beyond. This national treasure lies 25 miles off the coast of Boston and supports almost 600 documented ocean species, including migratory sea birds, numerous species of fish, such as Atlantic cod, striped bass, and herring, in addition to seals, sharks, sea turtles, and whales. Ellenbogen and his amazing underwater photos will introduce you to the fascinating residents of a vast underwater neighborhood that gets little notice yet contributes hugely to our state’s commercial and recreational economy, as well as to the overall health of Massachusetts’ coastal waters.

This event is made possible by the Lowell Institute; the New England Aquarium; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary; the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation; and the MIT Sea Grant College Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


The Aquarium Lecture Series is made possible due to the generous support of the Lowell Institute. Founded in 1836 with a mission to inform the populace regardless of gender, race, or economic status, the Lowell Institute has reached thousands of Boston-area residents by sponsoring free public lectures and other educational programs.

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