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    Channel Islands Maritime Museum Speaker Series Welcomes Lizzie Duncan on July 21

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    Oxnard, CA: Channel Islands Maritime Museum is proud to host its July Speaker Series “Rolling in the Deep Sea: Exploring Coral and Sponge Communities on the West Coast. The guest speaker will be Lizzie Duncan, research ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. 

    It’s likely no surprise that corals and sponges are critical foundation species that provide numerous benefits to humans. But, did you know that the majority of coral species live in the frigid deep sea, beyond the reach of light? From 2018 to 2021, the West Coast has been the focus of an incredible field research initiative involving several unprecedented deep-sea expeditions conducted off different ships which deployed a variety of cutting-edge technologies.

    Lizzie Duncan has been co-coordinating the research program since 2018. As the initiative winds down this year, the newly captured images and data are being analyzed by several agencies and organizations across the U.S. Join Lizzie as she walks you through the deep, dark world of deep-sea coral and sponges through the lens of the West Coast Initiative – from what deep-sea corals and sponges are and why they’re important, to the threats they face and what tools scientists are using to study them. Highlights will include never-before-shared images and findings from recent expeditions in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and beyond.


    Entrance to the Speaker Series opens at 6:30 pm. Admission prices for the CIMM Speaker Series are: free for CIMM Members, $7 adults, $5 seniors, $3 Youth (6-17), free for children 5 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The Museum is located at 3900

    Bluefin Circle in Oxnard.

    About Lizzie Duncan: Lizzie is a research ecologist with the NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. She’s been a part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s research team since 2017 when she first joined as a California State Sea Grant Fellow.

    In 2018, Lizzie first dipped her toe into the deep-sea world as a co-coordinator of the West Coast Deep-Sea Coral Initiative, a nationally supported and multiyear research program. Now, as a full time research ecologist for the sanctuary, she continues to coordinate deep-

    sea research, develop and manage related education and outreach projects, and participate in several other sanctuary research studies such as characterizing sanctuary visitor use and evaluating the connectivity of the sanctuary with other habitats on the West Coast.

    Lizzie relishes opportunities to conduct fieldwork in waters around the Channel Islands – be it in depths easily accessible by scuba or remotely operated vehicles (ROV). Her undergraduate and graduate research focused on how climate change may impact the ecology

    and physiology of marine organisms in rocky intertidal zones and shallow waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Lizzie was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that supported her graduate research on endangered black abalone at Stanford

    University’s Hopkins Marine Station.


    About the Channel Islands Maritime Museum: Founded in 1991 and located in Oxnard’s Channel Islands Harbor, the Museum’s galleries feature rare and beautiful maritime paintings dating back to the 1600s, more than sixty world-class models of historic ships, rotating

    thematic fine arts exhibitions, and interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to expand their horizons about everything maritime. The Museum is currently open Friday-Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm and Monday 10 am to 4 pm.

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