News for February 14, 2011
The Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt Expedition Enters Home Stretch
Research Associate Dave Drapeau preparing equipment for a carboy experiment on deck. Photo by Rebecca Fowler.
The 23-member Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt Expedition research team is in the final days of its five-week
transect of the South Atlantic Ocean, and is scheduled to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa on February 16. Maine’s
public radio station aired an interview with the Laboratory’s Dr. Barney Balch, the expedition’s Chief Scientist
mid-way through the expedition. Education Director Rebecca Fowler is keeping a daily blog about the team’s life
and work aboard the R/V Melville; corresponding directly with teachers in Maine, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Utah,
and Texas; and answering questions from K-12 students and college undergraduates. Her photo gallery offers an inside view of research life at sea.
Journal cover photos courtesy of Joyce M. McBeth and Jennifer R. Fownes.
Bigelow postdoctoral researcher Joyce McBeth is the lead author of a paper titled “Neutrophilic Iron-Oxidizing
‘Zetaproteobacteria’ and Mild Steel Corrosion in Nearshore Marine Environments” published in the February 2011
issue (Vol. 77, No. 4, pp. p. 1405-1412) of the American Society for Microbiology’s journal Applied and Environmental
Microbiology. The paper, selected as the issue’s cover story, examines the role of iron-oxidizing bacteria on
microbiologically influenced corrosion of steel in nearshore and estuarine environments. This work establishes, for the
first time, the unequivocal involvement of these iron-oxidizing bacteria in the corrosion of steel. Furthermore it
reports the discovery of these unique bacteria in temperate coastal environments; previously, they had been thought
to only be associated with hydrothermal vents. Co-authors include Brenda J. Little and Richard I. Ray from the Naval
Research Laboratory at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, 2009 REU class member Katherine M. Farrar from Bowdoin
College, and Bigelow Senior Research Scientist David Emerson. The SEM image used on the cover was taken by 2010 REU
student Jennifer Fownes.
Student Podcast with Dr. Pete Countway
When he finished teaching his survey course on the diversity of life in the oceans (one of two courses taught
by Bigelow scientists as part of the an intensive four-week January Program at Colby College in Waterville,
Maine), Dr. Pete Countway spoke with Colby student Emily Fleming ’12 for the student-run website Inside Colby
about the opportunities a career in oceanography offers young scientists. This four-and-a-half minute audio interview may make you want to become an ocean scientist yourself.
Inset: Dr. Pete Countway during an expedition to the Antarctic Ocean.
International Algae Competition:
A Global Challenge to Design Visionary Algae Food and Energy Systems
Bigelow Laboratory is a sponsor of the First International Algae Competition, launched at the World Algae Congress in San
Francisco in early December 2010. The competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world, and invites ideas for designing
landscapes that integrate algae production systems, developing models for producing algae effectively and economically on a
community scale, and creating new food and other products that use algae to sustain and improve health. The competition was
created by Mark Edwards, Professor of Strategic Marketing and Sustainability in the
W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona
State University and green business entrepreneur Robert Henrikson, who is the founder Earthrise Farms. More information,
guidelines, and online registration can be found on the official competition website. Registration closes on September 11, 2011.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences …exploring the world’s oceans, from microbes to global ecosystems
BLOOM Program for Maine High School Juniors Now Accepting Applications
Sampling during the 2010 BLOOM cruise. Photo by Greg Bernard.
The Laboratory will host the twenty-second annual Keller BLOOM Program from Sunday, May 15 to
Thursday, May 19, 2011. The BLOOM (Bigelow Laboratory Orders Of Magnitude) Program offers sixteen Maine high school
juniors the opportunity to work with Bigelow scientists as part of a five-day, hands-on science residency program.
The program includes an all day field sampling cruise on the Sheepscot River. Maine home-schooled, public, and private
high school juniors who are excited about marine science are encouraged to apply. More information and application
forms are available online. The application deadline is Friday, April 1, 2011.
Reminder: REU Program Deadline is March 15
REU 2010 participants.
The application deadline for the Laboratory’s 2011 Research Experience for Undergraduates
Program is Tuesday, March 15. The program will run from June 5 to August 13, 2011 and is open to undergraduates
throughout the United States. Each student selected to participate in the program will be paired with a Bigelow
scientist mentor, based on mutual research interests, and will conduct independent research with an emphasis on
hands-on, state-of-the-art methods and technologies. More information and application forms are available
Laboratory Represented at Maine’s Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee Meeting
Mark Bloom, the Laboratory’s Director of Corporate Alliances and Technology Transfer, spoke before Maine’s
newly created Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development on February 8, as part of a presentation
by the Maine Technology Institute about leading innovators in the state. Bloom described how the Maine Technology Asset Fund, which
provided $4.45 million toward construction of the Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology in June 2009, has catalyzed development of
the Laboratory’s new Ocean Science and Education Campus, helping to leverage major federal support for two more science centers on
the campus and contributing to economic growth in the region.
Become a part of our discoveries. Your help is more important to us now than ever before. Thank you!