Join us for community learning!

Our Speaker Series consists of informational gatherings designed to spark discussions on topics relevant to our Cape Cod community and PBCB’s mission: boating, marine science, and environmental stewardship.  A Q&A session will follow each presentation.

We offer a hybrid format: live attendance in PBCB’s Hillside Center and live streaming via Zoom. Talk recordings are available here via Google Drive!

All are welcome.  Admission is free, but contributions are accepted.


Register Here

Horseshoe Crabs of Pleasant Bay; the Unsung Heroes of COVID-19

William Sargent


January 20  |  5PM

*This event will be held entirely on Zoom, as Bill is not local off-season*

This talk will discuss horseshoe crab blood, as it has been used every COVID vaccine and antibody test to ensure that they are free of bacterial contamination. It will discuss the status of horseshoe crabs in Pleasant Bay and directions for future studies of their population.



Marine Entanglement Response

Paulette Durazo
Humpback Whale Studies Program, Center for Coastal Studies

January 7  |  5PM

Paulette is originally from Baja California, Mexico. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Coastal Oceanography with almost 10 years of experience working with marine mammals. She spent most of her time in Mexico working along the Baja Peninsula on research projects involving seals, sea lions, gray whales, and humpback whales. She engaged the public by giving talks about marine mammal conservation while working as a whale watching guide in Cabo San Lucas and San Ignacio Lagoon. She has worked at the Center for Coastal Studies for almost 3 years as a research assistant with the humpback whale research program and as a rescue assistant for the Marine Animal Entanglement Rescue team.

Marine animal entanglement is a leading cause of mortality in large whales. This presentation will cover an overall explanation of the entanglement problem and the history of conformation of the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network (ALWDN). We will share some of our latest disentanglement efforts and show you how to identify and report an entangled animal.

PEARL: Connecting the Oceans and Space via an autonomous Surface Platform

Olivier L. de Weck, PhD
Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics & Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT

Maha N. Haji, PhD
Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Systems Engineering & Faculty Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University

November 5  |  5PM

Traditionally ocean exploration and astronautics have been considered as completely separate domains. This is now changing thanks to new architectures and technologies that would not have been possible 10 years ago. PEARL is a new generation platform that can sense the ocean environment above and below, and can autonomously navigate and communicate to shore via satellite constellations such as Iridium and Starlink. We will discuss the concept underpinning PEARL, her design, sensors, and operational results from Oct 2020 to Sep 2021 on Deep Pond and Pleasant Bay. The data to be presented includes wind and pressure data from three tropical storms over summer 2021, sensing water quality changes in the estuary in terms of pH, dissolved oxygen, and salinity, as well as monitoring boat traffic with sensitive hydrophones. We conclude by summarizing the lessons learned and challenges posed by the marine environment including biofouling as well as excessive moisture and corrosion.


We welcome your curiosity!  Please submit any and all questions you may have for these speakers to with subject line:  Speaker Series Questions.


Register for Speaker Series