In the New Year, there are new reasons to be hopeful about the future of the ocean. Join Birch Aquarium on Thursday, January 26, from 6:30-8pm, to get inspired by Nancy Knowlton, founding director of Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and current sant chair of marine science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Her book Citizens of the Sea celebrates a decade-long effort to catalog and estimate the total diversity of life in the global ocean. The census, involving the work of 2,700+ scientists from 80 nations, discovered an estimated 6,000+ new species. A book signing will follow the lecture. (858/534-5771, www.aquarium.ucsd.edu)    MIA STEFANKO