Nature for All: 2023 ShORE Symposium at the Marine Discovery Center

“Nature for All” is the theme of this year’s ShORE Symposium, set for Friday, April 21.

Deadline for Online Registration is Friday, April 14 2023.
Day-of registration will be available

ShORE — Sharing Our Research with Everyone – returns to the Brannon Center, located at 105 South Riverside Drive in New Smyrna Beach, for a daylong collaboration of local residents, students, educators, researchers, conservationists, artists, elected officials and business leaders to understand and explore the Indian River Lagoon.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. The event will begin at 10 a.m., with sessions concluding around 4 p.m.

This year’s theme will be centered around concepts of access to the environment for diverse audiences. Presentations will showcase research and data focused on the Indian River Lagoon’s watershed, as well as research and programming that fosters equity and inclusion to the outdoors.

High school students and college undergraduates will join science professionals in presenting information to the public about their recent research, current scientific findings and management strategies for the Indian River Lagoon. Students will display scientific posters during lunch.

ShORE keynote speaker this year will be Carlee Bohannon, a marine biologist studying sharks and sea turtles in Florida. She received her master’s degree in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University, where she completed her thesis researching the effects of provisioning tourism on nurse sharks in Belize.

Bohannon’s research interests mainly revolve around the different ways sharks and humans interact and how this influences shark behavior and diversity. Additionally, she is involved in sea turtle conservation in Florida, researching fisheries interactions and assisting on the beach during the nesting season.

She is a co-founder and director of communications for Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), an organization dedicated to increasing diversity and accessibility in shark sciences. She was the recipient of the 2022 Justice in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion award by the Florida Marine Science Educators Association and made appearances in National Geographic Channel’s Sharkfest.

In addition to the event’s scientific presentations, two local citizens will be honored with the Marine Discovery Center’s top biennial Rhizophora Conservation Hero Award.

Here is the schedule for ShORE:

Keynote speaker, Carlee Bohannon is a marine biologist studying sharks and sea turtles in Florida.

Morning Session

  • 10:00am | Welcome ~ Chad Truxall – Marine Discovery Center Executive Director
  • 10:10am | New Smyrna Beach Mayor Fred Cleveland 
  • 10:15am | Keynote Speaker ~ Carlee Bohannon – Minorities in Shark Science (MISS) Co-founder & Director of Communications
  • 11:00am | Morning Break / Poster Viewing
  • 11:15am | Access
  • Eve Payor – Atlantic Center of the Arts, Creative Approaches to Outdoor Accessibility for the Blind
  • Nick Davis – A Rocha USA, Review And Gap Analysis of Northern Indian River Lagoon Biodiversity
  • Missy Weiss – Ocean Research & Conservation Association, One Health Fish Monitoring Citizen Science Project
  • Jason Evans – Executive Director of Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience, Stetson University, Green Infrastructure for a Climate Resilient Indian River Lagoon
  • 12:30pm – Lunch / Poster Viewing

Afternoon Session

  • 1:30pm | MDC Rhizophora Conservation Hero Award presentation
  • 1:45pm | Technology
  • Providence Pangira – Bethune-Cookman University, Telemetry data cleaning and mapping in ArcGIS for Audubon’s crested caracara in South Florida
  • Aldridge Kalenga – Bethune-Cookman University, Designing a Website-based Collaboration System Using SharePoint
  • Dr. Burak Cankaya – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, How Can AI Help to Understand Deep Causes of Water Pollution and Used As An Early Warning Resource
  • 2:15pm – Human Impacts on Wildlife
  • Charlotte Kraft – Stetson University, Sargassum as a transport vector for marine plastics onto shores
  • Cyrille Teforlack – Bethune Cookman University, The Impacts of Nitrates on Survival and Early Morphological Development in Eastern Oyster Larvae
  • Tom Sussan – Department of Biology, Stetson University, Boating intensity and proximity to live conspecifics influence settlement of oyster larvae in Mosquito Lagoon, Florida
  • 3:00pm | Afternoon Break
  • 3:15pm | Panel Discussion: Access to Nature ~ Moderator: Annie Roddenberry – Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Carlee Bohannon – Co-Founder & Director of Communications Minorities in Shark Science
  • Sarah Krejci – QEP Director, Bethune Cookman University
  • Caleta Scott – Southern IRL Community Engagement Coordinator, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program
  • Megan Martin – Resilient Green Infrastructure Communications Coordinator, Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience
  • Laura Henning – Chief of Interpretation & Visitor Use, Canaveral National Seashore
  • 4:00pm – Closing Remarks

ShORE is free to the public and lunch is included, but seating is limited. Online preregistration ends on Friday, April 14. To preregister, visit In-person registration will be available on the day of the event.

ShORE is hosted by the Marine Discovery Center in partnership with Atlantic Center for the Arts, Bethune-Cookman University, City of New Smyrna Beach, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, Stetson University and Volusia County Schools.

For more information, visit: or contact Tracie Morris at

Leave a Reply