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Programs for Adults

Learning can be a life-long adventure. Join Virginia Living Museum staff biologists, naturalists and scientists to explore the natural world in special adult-oriented programs. Each activity-oriented program is presented in a relaxed, hands-on format and includes classroom instruction combined with opportunities to examine specimens from the Museum’s extensive collections and up close encounters with live animals. Come and share a journey of discovery with others who have an enthusiastic desire to continue to learn about the natural world of Virginia and beyond.

Advance registration is required for many programs. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Reservations Coordinator, at 757-595-9135, Monday-Friday, 9 am-4:30 pm.

Naturally Speaking Series

Sponsored by:

Virginia Health Services logo

The Virginia Living Museum’s Naturally Speaking Lecture Series returns for 2020. Join us for light hors-d’oeuvre with a cash beer/wine bar starting at 6 pm followed by our speaker at 6:30 pm. The talk will run for 20 minutes allowing time for questions and a 7 pm wrap-up.

Adult only event for donors, members, and non-members. Program is free but we ask you to RSVP so we know to expect you and can prepare appropriately. Thank you!

Discussion Topics

By Sea, Air, and Space: Scientists from NASA Langley Explore the World’s Largest Phytoplankton Bloom and Its Future in a Changing Climate

Date: March 19, 2020 POSTPONED
Speaker: Richard Moore

The North Atlantic phytoplankton bloom is one of the most conspicuous events observable from NASA’s fleet of Earth observing satellites. This annual event has far-reaching implications for ocean ecosystems, food webs, atmospheric exchange, and climate. Yet, the processes underpinning the bloom remain highly uncertain, even today. Enter the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study, or NAAMES — a five year, NASA study to resolve fundamental characteristics of the bloom and its downstream impacts on atmospheric sea spray particles, clouds, and climate. Join Dr. Richard Moore from NASA’s Langley Research Center, here in Hampton Roads, as he highlights the exciting scientific results now coming from this important project.

Dr. Richard Moore is a research scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton Roads, Virginia. His research focuses on the interaction between atmospheric aerosol particles and cloud formation, which contributes the largest uncertainty in our ability to understand and model Earth’s climate. To explore this important research area, Dr. Moore uses a variety of tools including in situ measurements from instrumented aircraft as well as satellite, airborne, and ground-based remote sensing observations. Dr. Moore is the recipient of multiple awards including a NASA Early Career Achievement Medal and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He is a husband and father of two.


Boundary issues: living near an ocean that constantly invades your personal space

Date: April 16, 2020 POSTPONED
Speaker: David Samuel Johnson

Saltmarshes are a place of in-betweens. Sometimes they’re land, sometimes ocean. If you’re a snail with air-hungry lungs, how do survive an ocean smothers you twice a day? What do ghost forests tell us about a salt marsh trying survive as seas continue to rise? What lessons can we learn from salt marshes as we deal with an ocean that floods our roads, homes, and cities? Dr. David Samuel Johnson will answer these questions and more as he discusses how plants and animals (including humans) can adapt to living near an ocean that doesn’t understand boundaries. 

Dr. David Samuel Johnson is a marine ecologist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and has studied salt marshes for almost 20 years. He grew up in Arkansas running around the Ozark Mountains bare-footed chasing crawdads, creek chubs, and worms in the Ozarks before attending the University of Central Arkansas for his Bachelor’s degree. He did his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University where he started chasing crabs, mummichogs, and worms in salt marshes (with shoes on…mostly). He is an award-winning essayist and nature writer who enjoys wrestling on the floor with his two young boys.


Bigger, Stranger, and (Maybe) Scarier than T. rex: Meat-Eating Dinosaurs from the Southern Continents

Date: May 21, 2020 POSTPONED
Speaker: Dr. Matt Lamanna

Almost everyone knows about the T. rex, but did you know that even larger and weirder carnivorous dinosaurs lived in the Southern Hemisphere continents at the same time? Come learn all about this menacing menagerie of meat-eaters–several of which are featured in the Virginia Living Museum’s upcoming exhibit Jurassic Giants – from Dr. Matt Lamanna, the dinosaur paleontologist at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Dr. Lamanna and collaborators have spent the past 22 years exploring the southern continents for dinosaur fossils, discovering many new species along the way. In the process, they’ve added to our understanding of the terrifying predators that called these continents home.

Matt Lamanna is the Mary R. Dawson Associate Curator and Head of Vertebrate Paleontology and the principal dinosaur researcher at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He received his B.Sc. from Hobart College in 1997 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and 2004. Within the past two decades, he has directed or co-directed field expeditions to Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, China, Croatia, Egypt, and Greenland that have resulted in the discovery of multiple new species of dinosaurs and other Cretaceous-aged animals. Lamanna and colleagues’ most significant finds include the gigantic titanosaurian sauropods (long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs) Dreadnoughtus, Notocolossus, and Paralititan. He also led the study of the bizarre bird-like dinosaur Anzu, better known as the ‘Chicken from Hell,’ and co-discovered dozens of beautifully-preserved fossils of the 120 million-year-old bird Gansus in China.

Most recently, Lamanna and collaborators named Sarmientosaurus, a titanosaur that is represented by the best-preserved skull yet discovered for this diverse and abundant dinosaur group, and Mansourasaurus, a titanosaur that fills a ~30 million-year gap in the fossil record of dinosaurs on the African continent. Lamanna served as chief scientific advisor to Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s $36M dinosaur exhibition, Dinosaurs in Their Time, and has appeared on television programs for PBS (NOVA), the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, A&E, the Science Channel, and more.


Museum Mixer Series

The Virginia Living Museum introduces their Museum Mixers Series – an adults only program. During this evening mixer, VLM invites adults 21 and up to enjoy adult beverages, delicious food and participate in themed activities after-hours.

Starry Nights and Coffee Flights






Thursday, February 27

Discover the difference between astronomy and astrology while you sip on coffee during our Museum Mixer: Starry Nights and Coffee Flights.

Learn about the universe critically from our astronomy experts and determine if the stars can help you unveil the mysteries of life from local astrology experts. Taste a variety of coffee brews from local coffee house and distribution center Column 15. Add liquor to your brew for extra flavor for an additional cost.

Warm up your winter night during this adults only networking event!

This is a 21 and up event
Alcohol will be available for purchase

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