Archive for the 'Education' Category

Lectures tackle global poverty, ocean acidification

Amy Smith, senior lecturer and director of D-Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will speak in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room at Falmouth Public Library at 3 PM on Wednesday, June 21.

D-Lab works with people around the world to develop and advance collaborative approaches and practical solutions to global poverty challenges. The program’s mission is pursued through interdisciplinary courses, research in collaboration with global partners, technology development, and community initiatives—all of which emphasize experiential learning, real-world projects, community-led development, and scalability. Ms. Smith will talk about D-Lab’s philosophy and approach to development and will share some examples from the field.

Abby Smith, professor and head of department, a marine geochemist who works at the University of Otago in New Zealand, will speak later the same day, at 4:30 PM, in the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room. Dr. Smith will present a public lecture, “Bugs in Bubbles,” on the subject of ocean acidification, which is the next global climate challenge.

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Developing and testing an ocean acidification case study

Case studies are used to supplement knowledge discussed in class by encouraging students to seek out further information on issues. I developed a case study on ocean acidification for general education environmental science classes and beginning science majors. Ocean chemistry is not typically discussed in detail in college courses, therefore my goal was to explain ocean acidification with relevant examples taken from news articles and primary literature. Phase one of the case study introduced the topic using a general overview of ocean chemistry and pH. Phase two included historical industrialization data of CO2 emissions and pH values for analysis. The final phase provided an article on ocean acidification effects on a marine snail, the sea butterfly (Limacina helicina), to help students understand the potential biological implications for organisms. We have piloted this case study in two classes. Anecdotally, the feedback indicated that the case study engaged students, while expanding their knowledge of ocean acidification.

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Living sustainably: acid’s impact – a “Teach for Our Energy Future” lesson

We sure use a lot of energy. About 97.4 quadrillion Btu a year just in the U.S. — roughly the equivalent of 16 billion barrels of oil. And all that energy use has direct impact on our planet’s oceans, making them warmer and more acidic. But do we really understand how our lifestyle choices creates that impact?

Most of our energy comes from ancient dead things that became crude oil, coal and natural gas. Burning those fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn traps heat in the atmosphere — the “greenhouse effect.” At the same time, the more we burn carbon-based fuels, the more carbon dioxide the oceans absorb, making them more acidic. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century, the ocean surface has experienced a 30 percent increase in acidity.

Among other things, sea life is affected. A simple experiment can show acidification’s impact on life such as coral, clams and oysters — creatures with calcium carbonate skeletons.

Continue reading ‘Living sustainably: acid’s impact – a “Teach for Our Energy Future” lesson’

Open session on ocean acidification, 8-9 August 2017, Port Townsend, WA (tentative)


Date & time: Tue, 8 Aug 2017, 9:00 AM – Wed, 9 Aug 2017, 3:00 PM PDT

Location: Stuart Building, Room 7, 1610 Blaine Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368, United States

This session is tentative pending funding. Please register to indicate your interest, and we will contact you if the funding is secured. Registration is not a commitment to attend. May include partners: Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee and PT Marine Science Center.

Objectives: Through learning about ocean acidification, teachers will develop maritime and place-based projects that will grow students understanding in science and beyond. Teachers will increase student engagement by learning and applying best practices including: workshop model, thinking strategies, project-based learning, and cooperative learning.

Continue reading ‘Open session on ocean acidification, 8-9 August 2017, Port Townsend, WA (tentative)’

Public lecture: “The Evil Twin of Climate Change—Ocean Acidification”, 20 April 2017, Belfast, Maine

Date & time: Thursday, 20 April 2017, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Location: Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast, Maine

For more information: 207-338-1137

State Representative Mick Devin of Newcastle will speak about the growing effects of ocean acidification on Maine’s fishing and aquaculture industries, along with the impacts of rising seawater temperatures and marine debris.

Devin has led the way in researching the culture and ecology of marine animals and plants and is currently using his research to develop new marine policy for the needs of fisheries in the future.

Continue reading ‘Public lecture: “The Evil Twin of Climate Change—Ocean Acidification”, 20 April 2017, Belfast, Maine’

La révolte de l’océan (in French)

Chers Collègues, Chers Parents,

Puissent Splic et Sploc, deux gouttes d’eau attachantes et curieuses, amener les enfants à comprendre que l’excès de rejet de CO2 dans l’atmosphère perturbe l’équilibre de l’océan et de sa vie sous-marine, tel est l’objectif de ce récit.

Confrontés à des coraux qui perdent leurs couleurs, à des coquillages qui ont des problèmes de calcification, les enfants prendront conscience, à travers ce récit, qu’en luttant contre le réchauffement climatique, ils protègent aussi l’océan.

En plus ils découvriront que l’océan global est parcouru d’ un ” grand tapis roulant” (circulation thermohaline) et feront la connaissance des “anges de mer”, petites créatures étranges.

Puisque l’histoire commence et se termine dans les régions polaires, les enfants apprendront aussi la différence entre banquise de mer et calotte glaciaire.

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Norsk Polarinstitutt seminar: “Polar phytoplankton under multiple stressors – the effects of ocean acidification under varying environmental conditions”, 22 March 2012, Tromsø

Date  & time: 22 March 2017, 10:00–11:00

Location: Norsk Polarinstitutt, Framsenteret, 6. etasje, Rom “Tre kroner”, 9296 Tromsø, Norway

Presenter: Clara Hoppe, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany

In an era of dramatic anthropogenic perturbations of the global carbon cycle, the Arctic and Southern Oceans are experiencing rapid environmental changes, including ocean acidification, warming, sea-ice loss and changes in stratification.

Given their important roles in ecosystems and biogeochemistry, the responses of polar phytoplankton to climate change variables have received increasing attention in recent years. However, the interactive effects of multiple stressors remain poorly understood, as is the interplay of species-specific physiological responses and ecological dynamics.

Our group at the Alfred Wegener Institute (Germany) focusses on understanding the physiological and ecological processes that determine the effects of multiple stressors on polar phytoplankton. In this talk, I will present some of our recent work on the interactions between ocean acidification and other environmental drivers, including studies on natural phytoplankton assemblages and key species from the Southern and Arctic Oceans.

Continue reading ‘Norsk Polarinstitutt seminar: “Polar phytoplankton under multiple stressors – the effects of ocean acidification under varying environmental conditions”, 22 March 2012, Tromsø’

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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