Florida Keys Community College is pleased to open the 2016 season of its VIP Series with “Saving Nemo: (Aqua)Culture for Restoring the Ocean” on Tuesday, January 26 at 7 p.m. in the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus.  Presented by FKCC Professor of Marine Science Dr. Michelle Walsh, the session will explore the science of aquaculture, or fish farming, and how the emerging industry is supporting ocean restoration.

Currently, more than 90 percent of marine aquarium fish are collected from the wild—a problem that particularly spiked for clownfish following the release of Disney’s 2003 movie, “Finding Nemo.”  Aquaculture technology provides a way to supply the demand for aquarium fish that does not impact on delicate coral reef ecosystems.  Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, FKCC developed its Tropical Ornamental Mariculture Technology (TOMT) certificate in 2010.  Through hands-on training in the technology of cultivating clownfish and other species, FKCC is training the next generation of marine science professionals and environmental protectors.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at www.keystix.com or by calling 305-295-7676. Admission is free for students at FKCC and Monroe County schools.


About FKCC’s 2016 VIP Series:

In its third season, the College’s VIP Series builds on the success of its first two years which drew hundreds to experience opportunities to learn from and be inspired by the visions, ideas, and perspectives of speakers of local, regional, and national prominence.

The 2016 season features presenters and performers spanning timely and relevant topics of popular culture, art, history, and science.  Four evening sessions will be held in the College’s Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus.


Next in the VIP Series Schedule:

“Conversations with Ben Vereen”

Ben Vereen, Broadway Legend
Thursday, February 18 at 7 p.m.

Ben Vereen is one of those special actor-singer-dancer performers who can dazzle audiences with a display of multiple talents.  While performing worldwide, Ben’s acting credits continue to give us memorable roles that stand the test of time such as Chicken George in Roots and Louis Armstrong in Louis Armstrong—Chicago Style. The lecture circuit has become an integral part of Vereen’s career; his topics at FKCC will include Black History and his personal journey.

“Tennessee Williams in Key West”

Dennis Beaver, Founder & Curator of the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit
Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m.

This insightful presentation is an overview of the life of playwright Tennessee Williams during his residency in Key West from 1949 to 1983, years in which he won multiple awards for drama including two Pulitzers and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  For this lecture, FKCC is proud to welcome Dennis Beaver, Founder and Curator of the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit.  Come and experience the literary legend in a new local light.

“Jaws 2016: How We See Sharks 40 Years Later”
Dr. Patrick Rice, FKCC’s Chief Science and Research Officer
Tuesday, April 5 at 7 p.m.

In 1975, the movie blockbuster Jaws tapped into our primordial fear of sharks and resulted in a phobia and backlash against sharks that lasted for decades.  However, over the past 40 years the perception of sharks has changed and the once feared monsters are now being seen as majestic, beautiful creatures that are critical to our ocean’s health.  This presentation will take you on a journey through the evolution and history of sharks, with a special focus on shark sensory biology and how they perceive their watery world.