CBMM’s Winter Speaker Series to Explore Bay’s past, present, future

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., will begin its Winter Speaker Series on Thursday, Jan. 30, and continue on select dates through Thursday, Feb. 25. All sessions take place in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, and advance registration is encouraged.
This year’s Winter Speaker Series will explore the Chesapeake Bay’s past, present, and future. For the generations of people who have lived, worked, and played on the land adjacent to the Bay’s waters, one of the greatest constants has been change. This Speaker Series will explore different facets of life on the Chesapeake, from industrialization to traditional waterways, and the challenges those cultures and industries face as they plan for the future.
The speaker series kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 2pm with “Transformation of a Waterfront: Navy Point in St. Michaels Over Two Centuries.” Navy Point, the home of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, has been transformed over time from marsh and farmland to a residential neighborhood, an industrial district, and museum grounds. In this session, CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher will explore the archaeological surveys and historic architecture research that have expanded our understanding of the site’s rich past, as well as how CBMM is planning for the future.
“The Packing House: Repurposing a Historic Phillips Packing Company Factory for the Future” is scheduled for 5:30pm on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Throughout the early 20th century, the Phillips Packing Company was an economic powerhouse on the Eastern Shore. Today, the last remaining factory building in Cambridge is being repurposed as a mixed-use space to support and grow regional economic opportunities connected to agriculture, aquaculture, environmental technologies, and tourism. Join Eastern Shore Land Conservancy Vice President of Conservation Katie Parks to explore how this historic preservation project is connecting the area’s past with its future.
At 2pm on Thursday, Feb. 13, CBMM will present “Preserving the Heritage of the Nanticoke People.” The Nanticoke, or tidewater people, have a historic connection to the Chesapeake Bay region. Today, as one of two indigenous tribes recognized by the state of Delaware, the Nanticoke Indian Association is led by Chief Natosha Carmine, who will speak about her vision for honoring and preserving the tribe’s heritage for the generations that follow.
How do social institutions and narratives of place, heritage, and identity connect with current discussions of climate change and sea-level rise? Over two years, Washington College Associate Professor of Anthropology Aaron Lampman and his students conducted and analyzed interviews to explore the social, cultural, and economic barriers to climate-induced relocation, despite scientific predictions of relative sea-level rise on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that indicate catastrophic land loss over the next 50 years. Lampman will share their results in “Cultural Narratives of Sea Level Rise on the Chesapeake” at 2pm on Thursday. Feb. 20.
The final offering in the series, “Oysters in Maryland: A Glass Half Empty or Half Full?” will be held at 5:30pm on Thursday, Feb. 25. Oysters have long been integral to Maryland’s cultural landscape and the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Though wild populations have diminished over the years, collaboration among stakeholders gives hope for the future of this beloved bivalve. In this lecture, Shannon Hood, University of Maryland Extension associate agent, will explore cutting-edge research and community engagement strategies that aim to keep the oyster as a part of our ecological systems and cultural heritage.
The cost per session is $7.50 per person, with a 20% discount for CBMM members. Register online for all five sessions for an additional discount. To sign up, or for more information, visit cbmm.org/speakerseries.