Presented by: Dr. Steven Noll, Professor of History, University of Florida

ISLAMORADA, FL – Keys History & Discovery Center Presents… Florida Loves Manatees by Dr. Steven Noll, Professor of History, University of Florida. 

Tonight, we are pleased to present Dr. Steven Noll. Dr. Noll received his Ph.D. in 1991 in American History from the University of Florida, his M.A. in 1985 from the University of Florida, his M.Ed. from the University of Florida in Special Education in 1976, and his B.A. in 1974 from the College of William and Mary. He joined the University of Florida Department of History in 1992.

He has published three books: Feeble-Minded in our Midst (1995); Mental Retardation in America (2004); and, most recently, Ditch of Dreams: The Cross-Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida’s Future (2009). Ditch of Dreams started through a grant from the State of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection and was researched and written in collaboration with Professor David Tegeder. Noll is currently working on two books, one on the 1977 Disability Rights Protests and the other on the continuing controversy over the proposed removal of the Rodman Dam from the Ocklawaha River.

Dr. Noll teaches courses on the History of Disability in America, Florida History, Florida Environmental History, Diversity in American History, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, as well as both halves of the American History survey course.

This evening’s talk examines Florida and its relationship to its state marine mammal–the West Indian manatee.  Looking at manatees throughout history, it tells the story of how this “sea cow” became a beloved symbol of the state itself.  It looks at how humans and manatees coexist and how that relationship has changed over time.  It also investigates the future to see whether manatees can survive in a state based on rampant development in a time of rising seas and climate change.