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HUSBAY Celebrates Darwin Day
(Now called The Noel W. Smith Darwin Day Luncheon)

Charles Darwin Photo

Remembering Charles Darwin

1809 - 1882

Next Event Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, 11:30am at Marina Jack
(2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236)
Speaker Michael Middlebrooks, Ph.D.
Subject  Evolution of “Superpowers” in Mollusks
Enrollment Click here-> For a Form With All the Information

Bio: Our guest speaker is an invertebrate zoologist and an advocate for the tiny wonders of the animal  kingdom. He is an avid scuba diver and passionate about underwater exploration. His enthusiasm for sharing  the world of micro-fauna is evident in his talks about the small but spectacular snails, shrimp, and sea slugs  that make up a just a fraction of the underwater animal kingdom. He is an Associate Professor of Biology at  the University of Tampa where he teaches hands-on courses in Invertebrate Zoology, Global Sustainability,  and Coral Reefs.

His classes feature photographs of marine invertebrates that he has taken during his adventures in underwater exploration around the world. In Dr. Middlebrooks’ academic research, he uncovers the intricate relationships that colorful “lettuce” sea slugs have with the food they eat. Specifically, he focuses on the behaviors of photosynthetic or “solar powered” sea slugs which can steal chloroplasts from the algae they eat and store them inside of their own cells to make energy. Dr. Middlebrooks also conducts research on seagrass restoration and examines the animal communities that live in, and depend on, seagrass beds.

Last Event: Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, 11:30am at Marina Jack

Speaker: Laila Abdullah, PhD, Senior Neuroscientist

Subject: Role of Dietary Lipids in Aging and Alzheimer's Disease

Speakers' BIO: Dr. Abdullah is the Director of Lipidomics Re-search with over 20 years of experience in  translational research into neurodegenerative illnesses. Dr. Abdullah has a M.S. in Epidemiology from the  University of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Open  University in UK. Dr. Abdullah’s work is focused on identifying novel blood biomarkers for diagnosing  neurological illnesses and targeting lipid metabolism pathways for identifying therapies.

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Photos from the 2023 Event

(Provided by Sarah Gale Russel)

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Previous Event (2022)

Speaker: Alison Goldy, Community Engagement Coordinator, Mote Marine Laboratory

Alison is also a member of the Florida Marine Science Educators Association and holds a National Geographic Educator certification.

Subject: The danger to Coral Reefs

Synopsis: Florida has the only barrier coral reef system in the continental U.S. It's like having the Grand Canyon underwater—a natural treasure that took millions of years to create and deserves our protection. Since the 1970’s, there has been an estimated decrease of 90% of our indigenous coral coverage in some areas of Florida, including some species that have experienced a decline of more than 97%.

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Photos from the 2022 Event

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Our 2021 Event (Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1:15pm, on Zoom)

Hosted by Meigs Glidewell

To commemorate the great Charles Darwin, HUSBAY presented a play by Betty Robinson.

Here are the members playing a role in this Darwin tribute:
   Dan Dana - Haiku Writer-in-Chief, Betty Robinson, Bob LaSalle, David Coe (2 roles).

This is an event we hope you didn't miss!

If you would like a copy of Betty's Script, click on this link.



Our 2020 Event

Our 2020 Darwin Day celebration occurred
on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Marina Jack
for members and their guests.

Speaker: Richard Brandt, Research Meteorologist, University of Washington

Topic: Climate Change

Synopsis: The deep history of CO2, revealed from Antarctic ice cores

Click here for a Powerpoint of his infomative presentation (note: you will need a PowerPoint Viewer to read this document.)

2020 Party Scenes

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Our 2019 Darwin Day celebration occurred
on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Thanks to Sandie Zellick (Board Secretary) for oranizing this event - not an easy task.

Speaker : Matthew Bulger
(Legislative Director at the American Humanist Association)

Following lunch, member David Coe delivered a brief message about HUSBAY's twentieth anniversary.

This was followed with talks from our President, Dave Helgager, President Emiritus, Noel Smith, abd past President Meigs Glidewell.

Matthew discussed the efforts regarding Congressional support for Darwin Day, the separation of church and state and the status of religious freedom in the US.

Many photos were taken, some of which are shown below.

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2019 Party Scenes

Let 'em Eat Cake
Our Darwin
Our Own Darwin Welcomes Guests
(Thank you, Dennis Blanchard)
Dominic Guitar
Guitar & Tech-
Savvy Dominck

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AHA Poster Speaker
Our Guest Speaker, Mathew Bulger
Familar Faces 
Awaiting the President's Intro:
Clocklwise (left to right) Marge Bennet,
Donna Gannon, Noel Smith, Dave Helgager,
Penny Upton, David Coe, Rhea Ward, Chuck Smith, The McGills, (Bob & Mary)
 Dave Speaks
President Dave Helgager begins the introduction before a large, enthusiastic crowd.

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Peeny Speaks
Original Member Speaks Elequently
- a Penny for your thoughts!
Noell Speaks
Noel Smith recalls
HUSBAY's Rough Start
Coe on our history
David Coe Reminds Us of Our History -
(talking about our 20th anniversary)

Smiling & Waiting S&W  W4Food
HB Waiting W4F W4F
HUSBAY Members and guests, patiently(?) waiting for the show to begin

D&G D&C D&JH Darwin&Mary
Darwin for All (I'd Vote for That!)
From left to right: Gail Midwood, David Coe and Donna Gannon, Judy Helgager, Mary McGill

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The Magnicent View From Our Darwin Day Venue

Our 2018 Darwin Day celebration happened
on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Marina Jack
for members and their Guests

Speaker : Jeff Rodgers
(Author, Collector, Scientist)

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What it Means To Be Human

We, humans, are the result of a remarkable series of atomic, chemical, physical, biological, ecological, and sociological interactions spanning 13.8 billion years. The very fact that we’ve figured out how we came to be is testament to how special we are. But we don’t always live up to our potential. Follow the story of how we came to be, what makes us so noteworthy, and why having humans on the planet is certainly consequential.

Jeff Rodgers is Provost and Chief Operating Officer of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida. He has been with the museum for thirteen years, and served as the museum’s Director of Education and Director of the Bishop Planetarium prior to taking his current position. He came to Florida from the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium in New York City, where he worked for nine years as an educator and lecturer. Despite his current administrative roles, he is at heart a science communicator, spending the bulk of his time trying to de-mystify the universe and our place in it.

More about our speaker, and the South Florida Museum by clicking Here.

Many thanks to Sandie Zellick for orgnanizing this event. Charles Darwin would be proud.

   Scenes from the 2018 Party

   Scenes from the 2017 Party

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About Our Speaker

Our Darwin Day Speaker

Nancy Howell spent three years living in Botswana, studying the Kung Bushmen, a hunting and gathering people of the Kalahari desert, and a lifetime trying to figure out what all that data means. She is the author of Demography of the Dobe Kung (1979 and 2000) and Life Histories of the Dobe Kung (2010), along with many scholarly articles about the !King speakers.

Lately, she has been thinking about writing a third book, on what life must have been like for our hunting and gathering ancestors in Africa in the period of 50,000 to 10,000 years ago. We know that our ancestors were fully human then. The book would use the questions developed from the study of the Kung and the answers that are emerging from new findings and techniques of analysis from archeology, biological anthropology, genomics, and evolutionary biology. The focus will be on the evidence for critical changes in the bodies, minds, culture and social structure of our evolving species.

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Speaker Bio

Professor Emerita Nancy Howell was born in Detroit, Michigan, where she attended public schools. She graduated from Brandeis University in 1963, and earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University in 1968. While at Harvard, she married anthropologist Richard Lee, and they went to the Kalahari together from 1967-69 to do their fieldwork. She taught at the University of Toronto in the Department of Sociology fro 35 years, and has also taught at Wellesley College, Princeton, UC Berkley, and the University of Botswana. She lives in Ft. Myers, where she very much enjoys retirement from teaching and administration, while continuing the reading and writing parts of the professorial job.

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Some Photos From Our 2017 Event

Welcoming Committee The Pearl Scholarship Winner
Darwin Day Welcoming Committee Trudi & Tania Our Scholarship Winner(L)
Speaker and Board Speaker Noel-Ursula
Dave H, Speaker and Sandie Z Darwin Day Speaker, Joram Piatigorsky Our Founder, Noel and Ursula
Jim-Chuck-Rhea Meigs Miked Attendees-5
Three HUSBAYERs Doing Standup Meigs Introduces Speaker Waiting for the Real Food
Watching Our Speaker Do His Thing Bud, Judy and Karen O' Claudia & Garret
DD-6 DD-7 DD=0
Donna & David Les, Holly and Dave C Helen, Ken and Joanne

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Scenes from our 2018 Event

hand out
HUSBAY members and guests were treated to a sensational
presentation by invited speaker, Jeff Rogers
Our thanks to Sandie Zelick for organizing this event. No small task!
Claudia DBH Jeff Rogers View
Claudia Holmes
Soothes With Music
Presdent Gets
the Show Gowing
Jeff Rogers
On the Stage
View From
the Room
Around the tables Sandie and Judy Gail & Jeff Guests
Part of the
Hugest Crowd Ever
Annete & Jim W
Karen, Phil, Jack & Sharon
Gale Midwood &
Jeff Rogers
The Slates and
Mona & Kabir K
Guests Guests Magills Guests
Dave C, Les & Holly D
Eli & Lou A & Rhea W
Holly & Mike G
Jim C & Penny U
Magills Enjoying
the Show
Joanne G, Ingrid C
and Baerbel K
Guests K & D Guests Sandie and Judy
Ursula L, the Kents
Noel S & Joyce S
Kathy & Don S
Dan & Susan D
David C & Donna G
Sandie Z &
Judy H
Photos courtesy of Gale Midwood

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