Events at the Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium

Interactive, educational and exciting programs and lectures will be offered in April and May at the Museum of Coastal Carolina and the Ingram Planetarium.

The museum’s program begins with the Sandbar Lecture Series – “Getting Edu-Gatored in North Carolina” with Alicia Davis, alligator biologist at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Davis will present “What’s an Alligator Good For Anyway?”

She’ll highlight some of the lesser-known green benefits of alligators, explain why it’s not always easy at the top [of the food chain]share what the commission is doing to learn more about alligators in the state and outline steps coastal residents and visitors can take to coexist with fellow crocodilian people.

Davis’ current position is responsible for managing and coordinating a wide range of alligator-related projects. She received her BS in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from North Carolina State University in 2015 with a minor in Zoology. The conference will take place on Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m.


Tales of the Sea family programs will take place every Thursday in April at the museum. The programs will provide understandable information for all audiences, interactive discussions and STEAM activities, all featuring creatures from the museum’s exhibits.

  • April 7: Starfish and sea urchins – Discover two regulars of the museum’s touch pool, starfish and sea urchins. Why do we say starfish and not starfish? Are starfish and sea urchins related? How do starfish regenerate their limbs?
  • April 14: Behind the Scenes – Enter for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the aquariums, facility operations, and meet tactile tank animals. Today we will be offering special tours of animal storage facilities normally closed to the public. Learn what it takes to keep pets healthy and happy, learn about the unique characteristics of the variety of fish in aquariums, and see firsthand how aquariums are managed and operated.
  • April 21: Sharks – Take a look at the amazing world of sharks and what makes them unique from other fish. Have you ever wondered if sharks sleep? Are they really people eaters? How many teeth do they have? Topics include local shark species, basic shark anatomy, and shark intelligence.
  • April 28: Sea Turtles, an interactive program — Sea turtles are frequent visitors to the North Carolina coast, with several individuals nesting on the beaches of the Outer Banks at Ocean Isle Beach. Learn about the life cycle and species of sea turtles, how volunteers track sea turtle nests, and what you can do to protect sea turtles.
Evangelyn Buckland will be the guest speaker for the Sandbar Lecture Series to be held April 26 at the Museum of Coastal Carolina.

Evangelyn Buckland’s Sandbar Lecture Series will be “Sparrows, Missing from the Marsh”. She’ll talk about the seaside, salt marshes, and Nelson’s Sparrows, which spend all their winters in the thin strip of salt marshes along the North Carolina coast.

She will describe research conducted to study the biology of their wintering population, including movements, population size and seasonal survival, as well as some preliminary results. Buckland has been a practicing biologist since 2016. She has worked for the Smithsonian, National Park Service, and Audubon North Carolina. She earned her MSc in Marine Biology. Buckland’s speech begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 at the museum.

The Sandbar Lecture Series brings together local experts to talk about topics ranging from North Carolina’s coastal environment to the history of the Outer Banks.

Ingram Planetarium presents Mission Mars, an interactive Mars adventure game.

Mission Mars: An Interactive Mars Adventure — Visitors to the Ingram Planetarium have the opportunity to experience the planet Mars through the interactive, personalized, virtual reality experience, Mission Mars. Participants can experience what it might be like to venture into a research colony on Mars. Solve challenges to collect data and resolve real-life complications to avoid danger and repair the base. At the end of the experience, set off on an independent VR expedition to the surface of Mars. Mission Mars takes place every Sunday in April and May at 3 p.m. The activity is ideal for groups of four to eight people and participants must be at least eight years old.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina is located at 21 East Second St., Ocean Isle Beach, For more information, 910-579-1016 or

Ingram Planetarium is located at 7625 High Market St., Sunset Beach. For more information, 910-575-0033 or

Admission for both sites is as follows: One-day admission for non-members is $10 for adults, $9 for ages 62+, $8 for ages 3-12 , free for ages 2 and under and members.

Arline J. Mercier