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Science Café Explores the Environmental Importance of Marine Ecosystems

Port Royal Sound is a pristine, coastal waterway renowned for its rich and diverse marine life in Okatie, South Carolina. Images courtesy of the Spring Island Trust 

The pristine, coastal waterway Port Royal Sound is part of the South Atlantic Bight salt marsh ecosystem and renowned for its rich and diverse marine life in Okatie, South Carolina. Learn more about this inlet during a free Science Café, featuring Stetson University alumna, Spring Island Trust environmental educator and naturalist Kristen Mattson, who will be discussing “The Ecology of Port Royal Sound” on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Gillespie Museum on Stetson University’s campus.

The event also will include an opportunity to view the museum’s current exhibits and light refreshments. Cultural Credit will be available for students.

Mattson received her Bachelor of Science in environmental science with a minor in biology and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Stetson in 2005. She earned a Master of Science in interdisciplinary ecology with a focus on botany from the University of Florida in 2006. She has been employed with the Spring Island Trust since 2008.

Stetson alumna Kristen Mattson ’05 is an environmental educator with the Spring Island Trust in South Carolina.

“The Spring Island Trust is one of the leading environmental education and conservation organizations in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina,” said Mattson. “My role there is to teach residents and visitors about Port Royal Sound’s unique ecology.”

Mattson’s presentation will include various species and area conditions that create high productivity and biodiversity at Port Royal Sound and the significance of marine ecosystems.

“I’m very excited about returning to my hometown and my alma mater to speak to the community about the ecology of a region that is extremely special to me,” said Mattson. “Stetson University is the place that first inspired me to be passionate about the environment and conservation, and it is an honor to share the conservation story that I’ve been involved with for the past 12 years.”

The Gillespie Museum is located at 234 E. Michigan Ave. in DeLand. For more information, call 386.822.7330 or visit www.stetson.edu/gillespie.

-Sandra Carr