HORIZONS 2017

February 23 • Bruce Means
bruce-meansDiamonds in the Rough: Natural History of the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Bruce Means is a biologist at Tallahassee’s own Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy and leading authority on the natural history of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. He has published 10 books and 280 scientific research papers, contract reports, and popular articles in Natural History, National Geographic, International Wildlife, National Wildlife, BBC Wildlife, South American Explorer and other natural history magazines. Presenter in numerous documentary films for National Geographic Explorer, BBC Television, and PBS, he celebrates North America’s iconic eastern diamondback rattlesnake in the most exhaustive study of any single snake in the world.


March 23 • Gail Skofronick-Jackson
gailatgpmlaunchsite-1Let it Rain and Snow: Global Precipitation Measurement for Science and Society
Gail Skofronick-Jackson is the NASA Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite that allows for rain and snow estimates every 30 minutes. Knowing where, when and how precipitation falls is crucial for understanding the linkages between the Earth’s water and energy cycles and is vital for monitoring precipitation induced hazards such as floods, landslides, and hurricanes. Dr. Skofronick-Jackson has devoted more than 25 years to precipitation science with a focus on falling snow investigations.


April 27 • Jeffrey Shanks
jeffery-shanksMiddens, Mounds, and Mortuary Cults: The Archaeology of the Byrd Hammock Site
Jeffrey Shanks is an archaeologist with the National Park Service and field director for the recent archaeological excavations at the Byrd Hammock Site in Wakulla County. Jeffrey is an expert on the Woodland Period archaeology of North Florida and has authored and co-authored a number of articles and papers on the subject, including a chapter in the recent book New Histories of Pre-Columbian Florida. Jeffrey and his colleagues were awarded the 2016 Outstanding Achievement in Archaeology from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for their work at the Byrd Hammock Site, a prehistoric complex of burial mounds and villages that were in use from ca. AD 400 to 900 and occupied by the people from the Swift Creek and Weeden Island cultures. Jeffrey will speak about the history of Byrd Hammock and related sites and on the results of the recent excavations which are beginning to shed new light on the lifeways and ceremonial practices of these ancient people.

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Challenger Learning Center – 200 South Duval Street, Kleman Plaza


May 17 • Don Chambers
don-chambersSea Level Rise and Climate Change
Dr. Don Chambers is an Associate Professor of Marine Science at the University of South Florida who specializes in using satellite observations such as radar altimetry and satellite gravimetry to better understand ocean dynamics. His primary research focus is quantifying and understanding sea level variability, especially trying to separate natural climate variability from anthropogenic climate change. He studies all the dynamical processes that cause sea level change, including ocean circulation, ocean heat storage, ocean mass redistribution, and influx of fresh water from the continents and ice sheets.

Dr. Chambers was a Lead Author on the last climate assessment by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is a co-author of the recently published book: “Sea Level Rise in Florida: Science, Impacts, and Options.”

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Challenger Learning Center – 200 South Duval Street, Kleman Plaza


To view an outline of past Horizons events, click here