Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Ocean Life, Planet Health

June 2012 eNews

World Oceans Day, plus Climate Change in the Gulf of Maine
June 8, 2012

World Oceans Day: June 8, 2012

In honor of this year's World Oceans Day theme – Youth: the Next Wave for Change – Bigelow Laboratory is proud to present a short film by videographer Cole Christine that offers a glimpse of the 2012 Bigelow Keller BLOOM Program and the 16 Maine high school juniors who came to the Laboratory for a week of hands-on ocean science last month. The Ocean Project and The World Ocean Network has been promoting and coordinating World Oceans Day, held on June 8 every year, since 2002. This growing global event is a way for "people around the planet [to] celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all, what it provides humans, and what it represents."

Evidence from 12-Year Bigelow Study Links Ecosystem Changes in the Gulf of Maine with Climate Change

Collecting data on a transect of the Gulf of Maine. Photo courtesy of Barney Balch.

A recent paper published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series by Senior Research Scientist Dr. Barney Balch and his Ocean Observing research team, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey, documents that significant changes in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem are directly tied to increased amounts of rainfall and volumes of river discharge. Half of Maine's largest rainfall events of the century have occurred in the past seven years. Maine Public Broadcasting reporter Tom Porter interviewed Dr. Balch about these findings on Maine Things Considered on May 24.

Calling all Maine High School (and Middle School) Science Teachers
Exploring Oceanography Workshop

The 2011 Exploring Oceanography research cruise. Photo by Rebecca Fowler.

Space is still available in the Laboratory's four-day professional development workshop for teachers interested in working with Bigelow scientists to increase their knowledge of ocean science and involve their students in hands-on science exploration. Participants will learn how to teach fundamentals of ocean science in a local and global context, spend a day in the field on a research cruise, attend seminars by Bigelow scientists and engage in hands-on learning activities. Attendees will receive curriculum materials, lab equipment, and follow-up academic year support, as well as 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The cost of the workshop is $100. Housing near the Laboratory, a transportation reimbursement, and some meals will be provided. For registration and more details, please visit

Major New Grant for Virus Research

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded Bigelow Laboratory $1,001,422 for research on "Carbon and Gene Flow Mediated by Virus Life." The project is under the direction of Drs. Willie Wilson, Steve Archer, David Fields, and Joaquin Martinez Martinez. They will examine the role of viruses within different levels of the food web, investigating how viruses that infect marine phytoplankton may also infect the small crustaceans (zooplankton) that feed upon them, and challenging the paradigm that viruses infect only a narrow range of hosts. If this conceptual shift proves correct, it would fundamentally change our understanding of virus–host relationships and the influence of viruses on host evolution. The project will also shed new light on how viruses may be affecting zooplankton feeding behavior, and thus the flow of carbon in marine ecosystems. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation and scientific research around the world and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation's Marine Microbiology Initiative supports discovery and dissemination of scientific findings and technological developments in the fields of marine microbiology and microbial ecology, which contribute to ocean health and productivity. For more information, please visit


Download our New Annual Report

The Laboratory's 2011 Annual Report, The Global Reach of Microbial Oceanography, is now available to view or download in its entirety on our website. Cover art by international scientific artist Glynn Gorick.

A Conversation between a Scientist and Journalist – Now on Film

The Laboratory's Café Scientifique at the Strand Theater in Rockland, Maine on May 24 drew over 150 enthusiastic participants for a spirited discussion of current ocean issues. If you weren't able to attend, you can see the conversation on our Café Scientifique web page. Meanwhile, the Laboratory's program of 2012 Café Scientifique Summer Science Conversations is nearly set. We will send a separate announcement with the full schedule later this month. The talks are scheduled for every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Boothbay Harbor Opera House from July 10 through August 28, 2012. An additional Café Scientifique will be held at the new campus on Thursday, July 19 at 6 p.m. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Public Tours of the New Campus

Inside the Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology. © 2011 Christopher Barnes.

Rather than hosting an Open House on just one afternoon this year, the Laboratory is inviting members of the public to come to the East Boothbay campus for an hour–long public tour of the new science facilities on three different Fridays this summer–June 22, July 20, and August 24. Tours are free, open to all, and will begin in the Campus Commons at 3 p.m. Please contact or call (202) 747-3255, ext. 104 to sign up. Everyone is welcome!

Generation Innovation

Bigelow Executive Director Graham Shimmield is currently appearing on an episode about research collaborations on Generation Innovation, Maine Technology Institute's cable television program about emerging new technologies and economic partnerships in the state. Maine community access stations in Brunswick, Falmouth, Berwick, Scarborough, and in Hamburg, Michigan have picked up the show. You can watch it here.

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Join the Bigelow Discovery Team!

Photo by Rebecca Fowler.

The Annual fund closes on June 30, 2012. If you have not done so already, please consider making a gift to Bigelow Laboratory today. Our donors provide essential support for key research, education, and outreach initiatives, and help us forge new partnerships for a sustainable future. Donate Now.

Bigelow Laboratory
Board of Trustees
David Coit, Chair
Mary Chatterton
Chip Davison
David Ellis
Robert Healing
Steve Malcom
Richard Morrell, Vice Chair

Helen Norton
Walter Norton
Herb Paris
Randall Phelps
Neil Rolde
Carolyn Slayman
Steve Weems
Colin Woodard
Trustees’ Advisory Board
Thomas Berry
Christopher Flower
Karin Gregory
Lee Grodzins
Tracy Huebner
Russ Jeppesen
David Knight
George Mitchell

Rick Mitterling
Charles Roscoe
Jonathan Schaffer
Monty Scharff
Kevin Strange
Mike Tetreault
Magdalena Tosteson
David Znamierowski

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