University of Delaware
UD celebrated its wind turbine’s first year of operation earlier this year. Prof. Jeremy Firestone will summarize turbine research and power output in his Coast Day presentation. Photo by Evan Krape

Not your everyday lectures

Hurricanes, green energy, marine wildlife among featured Coast Day presentations


1:37 p.m., Sept. 15, 2011--From Delaware’s fickle weather to marine mammals and sea turtles, Coast Day 2011 will feature several lectures that touch on a variety of fascinating environmental topics you won’t want to miss.

A free event now in its 35th year, Coast Day will be held Sunday, Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. It is sponsored by the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program.

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The lectures kick off at 12:30 p.m. when Jeremy Firestone, UD professor of marine policy, presents “UD’s Wind Turbine — One Year Plus Review of Operation, Research, and Partnership.” Part of the Focus on the Coast Lecture Series, Firestone’s presentation will recap the last year of activities associated with UD’s 2-megawatt wind turbine.

Hurricanes are the focus of a 1:30 p.m. lecture by special guest speaker and Delaware native Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center. His lecture “What’s a Former Delaware Kid Doing at the National Hurricane Center?” is sure to draw a big crowd, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. 

Staying on the theme of weather, Daniel Leathers, UD professor of geography, will follow at 2:30 p.m. with “Understanding Fickle Weather in the First State.” Wrapping up the series at 3:30 p.m. will be Douglas Miller, UD associate professor of oceanography, who will present his lecture “Hidden in the Muck — Sixty Years of Research on the Bottom of Delaware Bay.”

The Coast Day Lecture Series will begin at 1 p.m. with James Corbett, professor of marine policy, and his presentation, “This Century’s Next Big Innovations in Shipping: Make New Fire; Carry New Water.” He will be followed at 3 p.m. with a presentation on marine mammals and sea turtles by Suzanne Thurman, executive director of the Marine Education, Research, and Rehabilitation (MERR) Institute.

Families with children at Coast Day won’t want to miss the “Chemical Magic Show.” The performance by George Luther, UD professor of oceanography, will feature dazzling chemical magic tricks that will not only amaze the audience, but also explain various marine-related phenomena. Show times are 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Coast Day visitors interested in music and maritime history will be thoroughly entertained during a 12:30 p.m. concert by the Northern Neck Chantey Singers. Representing some of the last group of fishermen who participated in chantey singing, they are dedicated to documenting and preserving the legacy of those who worked and pulled nets on menhaden fishing boats many years ago.

Coast Day is supported by DuPont Clear into the Future, Gamesa Corp., NRG Bluewater Wind, OSG Ship Management Inc., UTEC Survey Inc., Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, WMDT—CW-3, Lewes Historical Society, Lewes Chamber of Commerce, PNC Bank, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more information about Coast Day, visit or call 302-831-8083. Additionally, the full event program will be available to view on the Coast Day website Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Note to the UD community: Free bus transportation to Lewes from Newark will be available for UD students and employees. Learn more

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