‘Ding’ lecture looks at rain’s impact on nature, culture
Cynthia Barnett’s book “Rain: A Natural & Cultural History” begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. The author will present two programs beginning at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, in the free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center on Sanibel Island.
“Rain” weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain. “Rain” is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.
“I’m crazy about rain,” said Barnett. ”I am a native of Florida and have always loved its sun showers and dramatic rain storms. Over my years as a journalist specializing in water, I came to appreciate rain as life’s elixir – marveling at its work to fill aquifers and rivers, its cycle from sea to atmosphere.”
Following her presentations, Barnett will sign copies of her book, which is available for purchase in the Refuge Nature Store, all proceeds benefiting refuge wildlife and conservation and education programs.
Admission is free to the lectures, part of the “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series sponsored by HighTower Advisors Fort Myers along with Mike and Terry Baldwin and support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS).
Funding for this program was also provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The season’s complete schedule is listed below. Book signings follow all of the starred (*) lectures.
Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Arrive one hour early to assure seating. Early arrivals can save one seat each and then may explore the Visitor & Education Center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time or risk being reassigned.
As usual, Wildlife Drive is closed on Friday, but visitors are welcome to enjoy the free “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, Indigo Trail, and recreational opportunities at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the refuge’s official concessionaire located at its Tarpon Bay Recreation Area.
Note: Opinions expressed in guest lectures do not necessarily reflect the views of refuge and DDWS management, staff, or board of directors.
*Jan. 22 – Cynthia Barnett – Rain: A Natural & Cultural History
Jan. 29 – Dr. Ken Meyer, ARCI – “The Dance of the Reddish Egret – from ‘Ding’ to North Florida”
*Feb. 5 – Ellen Prager – Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
*Feb. 12 – Don & Lillian Stokes – “Better Birding”
Feb. 19- No Lecture
Feb. 26 – Jerry Lorenz –“Roseate Spoonbills in Florida Bay: Pink Canaries in a Coal Mine”
*March 4 – Steve Noll – Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future
*March 11 – Leslie Kemp Poole – Saving Florida: Women’s Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century
March 18 – Emily Stokes, Reef.org – “Invasion of the Lionfish”
March 25 – Ian Bartoszek – “Pythons in Paradise: Collaborative Burmese Python Research in SW Florida”
April 1 – Joe Wiegand – “Teddy: The Conservation President” Reprisal
*April 8 – John H. Hartig, Bringing Conservation to Cities: Lessons from Building the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
*April 15 – Sandra Friend and John Keatley, The Florida Trail Guide
*starred lectures indicate a book-signing to follow
As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.