Join us for a weekly exploration of topics important to our coastal and wetland ecosystems. Bring your lunch and The Wetlands Institute will provide coffee and dessert. Each week we will feature a different speaker and topic of discussion! Event does not take place on the last Friday of each month. 

Friday, February 7, 2020 – Welcome Back Bluebirds

Presented by: Gail Fisher, Cape May County Coordinator, NJ Bluebird Society

Join Gail Fisher, Cape May County Coordinator for the NJ Bluebird Society since 2016, as she discusses the habitat, nesting preferences, and active monitoring needed to increase the bluebird’s chances of raising a healthy brood. Also, certified to band bluebirds, and having banded over 200 chicks in Cape May County during the 2019 season, Gail will discuss her work here in Cape May County.

Friday, February 14, 2020 – Biology and Management of Purple Martins

Presented by: Allen Jackson, President, NJ Bluebird Society representing the Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA)

Allen Jackson is a Wildlife Biologist retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2002 after 31 years. He is a martin mentor for the PMCA and has learned the importance of proper management for both Purple Martins and the Eastern Bluebird. These two species thrive on and respond to active management. During these difficult times of decreasing avian species, proper management may be the key to ensure these species are around for future generations to enjoy.

Friday, February 21, 2020 – New Jersey and Back Again: Meet and Greet with Erin Rawls

Presented by: Erin Rawls, Outreach Coordinator, The Wetlands Institute

Come meet and get to know the new Outreach Coordinator for The Wetlands Institute, Erin Rawls. Learn about her journey as an environmental educator working from Florida to California, and how it’s brought her back to New Jersey time and time again. You’ll also learn about how The Wetlands Institute is working to incorporate new technology into our SEAS program and other outreach programs!

Friday, March 6, 2020 – A Temporal Comparison of Trophic Physiology and Tissue Heavy Metal Accumulation in Northern Star Coral, Astrangia poculata

Presented by: Wolf Trumbauer, Villanova University, Department of Geography and the Environment

Tropical coral species are threatened by climate change and human activity; one conservation approach is to study related, yet common species. Astrangia poculata is a temperate coral that can improve our understanding of coral physiology because it lives with and without symbiotic algae, a situation parallel to coral bleaching that affects the tropics. However, the costs and benefits of these life strategies are not well understood. Learn how I am studying A. poculata’s nutrient acquisition, lipid storage, and heavy metal uptake to fill literature gaps so future studies may use A. poculata as a model for conservation studies of threatened corals.

Friday, March 13, 2020 – Sea Turtles are Stubborn and Here’s Why

Presented by: Danielle Meeker, Aquarist/Environmental Educator, The Wetlands Institute

Dani Meeker is our newly hired Aquarist/Environmental Educator. As a previous Environmental Education Intern at The Wetlands Institute (TWI), Dani will discuss her experiences working with sea turtles post internship that ultimately helped bring her back to TWI. She will share the ups and downs of working with sea turtles, from rainy nesting seasons to happy hatchlings to sea turtle rehabilitation!

Friday, March 20, 2019 – 101 Great Birds from Around the World

Presented by: Mark Garland

Join Naturalist Mark Garland for a celebration of the diversity of bird life here on Planet Earth. With a mix of video clips and still images, Mark will share stories about birds big and small, colorful and drab, spotlighting some of the remarkable stories about bird behavior and biology. Mark Garland has been leading nature tours, field trips, workshops, and classes about natural history topics for more than 40 years. He lives in West Cape May.


  • Starting Friday, January 17th, 2020, repeats every week on Friday until Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 11:45 am – 1:30 pm


The Wetlands Institute

1075 Stone Harbor Blvd.
Stone Harbor, NJ 08247