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[Past Event] Marine Marvels with Dr. Ed Clifton

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Course Description:

Oct. 31: The Strange Evolution of California Marine Mammals

The marine mammals that inhabit the coast of Central California have a diverse and complex origin. Sea lions and sea otters descended from land animals that occupied the Pacific Rim. Seals and cetaceans arose in the forests and streams bordering a long-vanished sea on the far side of the globe. The evolutionary history of the cetaceans is better known than any group of animals, due to the size and durability of their bones. In following that history, we will meet some of the stranger animals to inhabit the earth since the age of the dinosaurs, as we trace the evolutionary path from a hoofed coyote-sized predator to the modern giants of the sea.

Nov. 7: The Weird, Wonderful World of Plankton

The waters off our coastline contain a world of seldom seen drifting organisms, collectively called plankton, that are hugely important to the marine environment. If they vanished, so would most oceanic life. Plankton includes myriad life forms with fascinating stories. Radiolarians are living glass jewels that have served as inspiration for countless art forms. Tiny glass diatoms attack their predators with a nasty form of chemical warfare, while minuscule dinoflagellates are far more dangerous to humans than sharks. Join us for an up-close look at the many members of the plankton family, including the fastest, and possibly strongest, animal for its size on the planet.


Tuition: $25.00

Additional Fees: $0.00

Register Myself


Wednesdays, Oct. 31; Nov. 7 *10:00 - 11:00am* (2 sessions)


CSUMB at Ryan Ranch, 8 Upper Ragsdale Drive, Monterey


H. Edward Clifton, PhD is a geologist with strong ties to the ocean. After receiving his doctorate, he joined the U.S. Geological Survey where he served for 30 years. The first-ever geologist aquanaut, Dr. Clifton shares the world record for continuous underwater habitation under saturated diving conditions.