The UGA Aquarium on Skidaway Island near Savannah is offering a three-part Finding Meaning in the Marsh series that encourages participants to view Georgia’s coastal salt marshes from new perspectives.  

Three programs scheduled in March 2023 will feature special guest photographers, artists and naturalists who will lead guided walks through salt marsh and maritime forest habitat at the UGA Aquarium.  

“We often study Georgia’s coast through science, but it’s not the only way,” says Austin Heil, public programs coordinator for UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. He was inspired to launch the series as of way of bringing in creatives who connect with the natural world in unique ways.  

“Artists from different mediums will be able to show visitors how they use photography, painting and natural history to understand the ecology of the Lowcountry.”   

The topics and dates for the Finding Meaning the Marsh series are provided below. The series is open to all ages, but the content is geared towards children ages 13 and up. Participants can register for one, or all, of the programs at 

Photography: March 2, 5 -7 p.m.  

a grassy marsh scene with water in the foreground and a blue sky with small white cloudsPhotographers are keenly aware of light, dark, angles and space. They, quite literally, view the salt marsh through a different lens. Join UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant educators and digital media assistant and resident photographer, Shanon Wise, on a guided walk along the Jay Wolf Nature Trail at the UGA Aquarium. Wise has a bachelor’s degree in photography and integrated media from Ohio University. She will provide visitors with photography tips and share techniques for shooting coastal wildlife and scenery found along the trail.   

Art: March 11, 2-4 p.m.

A mand wearing a green baseball cap and a red flannel shirt paints a marsh scene outdoors on a canvasLandscape artists seek connections to place through careful observation of time and light. During this program, Kip Bradley, a local landscape artist and  Georgia Sea Grant’s 2022 Artists, Writers, and Scholar’s winner, will introduce basic color theory and color mixing exercises to help participants observe color shifts in the marsh. By the end of the hike, participants will have a better appreciation of the marsh as a coastal resource through this artistic investigation of nature. 

History: March 21, 5-7 p.m.  

A man talks to a group of young adults in a maritime forest settingHistorians pay close attention to the people, events, interactions, and changes in a particular place. They see coastal ecosystems through the lives of the people that populated these areas, recognizing the major figures and events that shaped coastal habitats and resources. Local historian and naturalist John “Crawfish” Crawford will lead a walk through the maritime forest on Skidaway Island. Crawfish grew up in Savannah and knows the history of coastal Georgia, particularly Skidaway Island, where he worked as an educator for 30 years. Learn about the island’s past and present residents who have shaped its current landscape.