ASLO spreads the word about limnology and oceanography at the USA science and engineering festival

On a picture-perfect October weekend, half a million people converged in downtown Washington, D.C., for the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival. ASLO partnered with the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) program for an exhibit titled “Watching the Water to Probe the Planet.” For 15 hours over two days, ASLO (represented by president Debbie Bronk, Susan Banahan, Marti Snyderwine and myself) and OCB (represented by Heather Benway and Sarah Cooley from Woods Hole) spoke with hundreds of festival goers about aquatic science, with booth activities and exhibits addressing chemistry, physics, engineering, and biology.

OCB’s hands-on activity “Ocean Acidification in a Cup” was a hit with attendees to the ASLO booth. Even the youngest festivalgoers couldn’t resist the artful pH rainbow (Fig. 1) that provided a striking visual to draw the crowds in to the booth. Attendees got to see first-hand how carbon dioxide acidifies water by blowing bubbles into water with a cabbage-based pH indicator (Fig 2). Many teachers, home schooling parents, and Scout troop leaders requested to have the instructions for the activity sent to them via email (you can download
them online at:

Sponberg, A., 2010. Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, 19(4): 86-87. Article.

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