The Aquarium's Free Lectures Make a Splash

The Aquarium of the Pacific will offer a four virtual talks in July, all themed to places around the globe.

Jay Tayag/Mike Bartick

What to Know

  • July 1, 8, 15, 22
  • Free
  • Virtual lectures from The Aquarium of the Pacific's Online Academy

Taking a brief mind vacation?

It's always a lovely thing, and allowed, and highly recommended, even if you're sitting on your couch.

Or perhaps "especially" is the word here, as in "especially when you're on your couch."

But there is a way to enhance the classic mind vacation, and give it a bit of depth, even literally, in terms of ocean-based knowledge.

The Aquarium of the Pacific's Online Academy can help us out with that, and we don't even need to slip into a wetsuit or a pair of waterwings.

We can take a deep dive by signing up for a free virtual lecture, the sort of talk that builds on our knowledge and curiosity about a host of nature-cool topics.

Several of those topics will shine in July, when the Long Beach institution presents a quartet of info-cool lectures from pros in the know.

The themes of the aquarium's upcoming Guest Lecture Series?

Prepare to roam the world from your couch: Butterflies in the Costa Rican rainforest, the fish of the Mekong River, the vibrancy of the blue economy, and snapping spectacular photos while underwater.

William Cooper, a professor of engineering at University of California, Irvine, will talk about visiting a reserve full of butterflies in Costa Rica during his July 1 talk, while John Sabo, a professor of river ecology and water resources in the School of Life Science at Arizona State University, will delve into "natural food production efforts" along the Mekong River in Cambodia on July 8.

Charles Colgan, the director of research for the Center for the Blue Economy of The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, will discuss how "(n)ational governments, international organizations, and businesses have committed to the search for new ways to derive value from ocean and coastal resources and to do so in ways that assure future sustainability of ocean resources and ecosystems" on July 15.

And on July 22?

Professional diver Mike Bartick takes us below the waves, with a camera in hand, to talk about some of the "fantastic beasts" he has encountered, including "(d)ragons of the deep, gelatinous sea creatures, slugs with solar panels, and fish with hair."

It's all free, virtual travelers, so be sure to tune in.

Photos: Wave photo: © Jay Tayag/Sea dragon photo: © Mike Bartick /

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