2010 After Hours Lectures

The Gulf Oil Spill: A Report from the Front Lines

(October 28, 2010) VIMS alumnus Dr. Don Boesch, a member of the President's BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission, explores the impacts and consequences of this summer's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mercury: A Hazard without Borders

(September 30, 2010) Mercury pollution threatens the health of humans, fish, and wildlife around the world as it moves between the earth's soil, air, and water. W&M professor Dan Cristol describes mercury’s effects and behavior in natural systems. Cristol, an ornithologist, studies the effects of mercury in wildlife, including a current study of birds in the highly contaminated headwaters of the Shenandoah River.

Sharks: Dangerous or Endangered?

(August 26, 2010) Shark populations are declining around the world, including those in coastal Virginia and Chesapeake Bay. VIMS Asst. Professor Tracey Sutton explores the natural history and management status of these often misunderstood creatures. Sutton heads VIMS' Shark Survey, the longest-running study of shark populations in the world.

Energy Choices and the Bay

(July 29, 2010) The future health of Chesapeake Bay depends on the energy future we choose to follow. W&M alumnus Dr. Chris Pyke, Director of Research at the U.S. Green Building Council, explores how our energy choices and their climatic consequences will affect Bay protection and restoration.

Sand Management 101: Beach Nourishment in Virginia
(June 24, 2010) The phrase "sand grains on a beach" is often used to denote vast quantities. In reality, sand is a limited resource that underlies many contentious shoreline issues. Scott Hardaway, head of the VIMS Shoreline Studies program and a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Mitigating Shoreline Erosion on Sheltered Coasts Committee, describes Virginia's sand resources and the history of beach-nourishment efforts in Virginia including Virginia Beach and Factory Point.

State of the Bay 2010

(April 29, 2010) Each year, several organizations release reports concerning the health of Chesapeake Bay. VIMS professor Carl Hershner compares and contrasts these reports and explains their latest look at Bay health.

Birds of Prey in the Bay

(March 25, 2010) Ospreys, bald eagles, and other birds of prey are conspicuous denizens of Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. Raptor expert Bryan Watts of the Center for Conservation Biology at W&M explores the natural history of these magnificent birds and their role in the Bay ecosystem.


(February 25, 2010) One of the most complex Indian societies in eastern North America had its capital at Werowocomoco on the York River upstream from VIMS. W&M anthropologist Martin Gallivan describes what archeological evidence from this site tells us about Native American culture, resource use, and interactions with early European colonists. Gallivan heads the Werowocomoco Research Group, which began its excavations at the site in 2001.

Rising ocean acidity: the other CO2 problem

(January 28, 2010) Carbon dioxide’s impacts on the atmosphere are well known. VIMS professor Deborah Bronk explores the less-familiar but equally troublesome impacts of excess CO2 on ocean acidity. Bronk will describe the science behind ocean acidification and its possible effects on marine organisms and ecosystems.