Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Ocean Life, Planet Health

July/August 2012 eNEWS

Bigelow Laboratory Front and Center at 2012 BIO Convention
August 17, 2012

Bigelow Laboratory Front and Center at 2012 BIO Convention

Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Brandon Swan with the Bigelow biotechnology display at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in June. Photo by Zeynep Turk.

The Bigelow Center for Blue Biotechnology was a prominent focus of the Biotechnology Industry Organization convention early this summer. Considered "the global event for biotechnology" BIO 2012 was held in the 516,00 square foot Boston Convention and Exhibition Center - the largest exhibition center in New England - and drew over 16,500 attendees from 49 states and 64 countries over four days. Bigelow scientists and staff shared shifts at the Laboratory's display, part of the Maine pavilion "Bioscience Hub" organized by the Maine International Trade Center and perfectly located at the front of the exhibit hall. Bigelow Corporate Alliances and Technology Transfer Director Mark Bloom reports that the event has "resulted in several promising leads for collaborative R&D." This was the first time that Bigelow Laboratory participated in a BIO International Convention.

Building Twenty-First Century Computing Capability

The Laboratory has received an award of $350,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for computer equipment and software to create a new processing and data storage environment to meet its rapidly accelerating computing needs, speeding the discovery process and providing greater freedom of research for the Laboratory's scientists and their collaborators. The grant, awarded to Senior Research Scientists Drs. David McClellan, Peter Countway, Ramunas Stepanauskas, and William Wilson is part of NSF's Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSML) Program. Led by bioinformatician David McClellan, the project will streamline computationally difficult workflows and data management, and improve the ability to render, store, and analyze digital images, as well as track cell cultures and process customer orders.

2012 Maureen D. Keller Undergraduate Scholarship Award

Keller Scholarship recipient Maxwell Rawson with Executive Director Graham Shimmield. Photo by Nicole Poulton.

We are delighted to announce that Maxwell Rawson, a member of the 2012 graduating class of Morse High School in Bath, Maine and a former BLOOM Program student at the Laboratory, has received the eleventh annual Keller Undergraduate Scholarship. The $1,000 Keller Scholarship, in memory of Bigelow researcher Maureen D. Keller, is given each year to an outstanding Maine high school senior or first-year college student majoring in science. Among a long list of accomplishments during his high school career, Rawson worked on an independent study project to sample local streams, perform laboratory analysis, and meet with officials in the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to help evaluate and reopen a previously contaminated shellfish bed in midcoast Maine. Rawson will attend Colorado College this fall and plans to major in biology.

BLOOM Professional Development Workshop for Maine Educators

Photo by Nicole Poulton.

The Laboratory hosted the 2012 Professional Development Workshop for Maine Educators from July 24 through July 27, bringing teachers from seven school districts across the state to the new campus to experience hands-on marine science research and work with Bigelow scientists to develop classroom activities for students. The program, which offered three Continuing Education Units, was made possible by funding from the Horizon and Ingalls Foundations, and the Betterment Fund. Class participants were:

  • Cathy Woodbury, Noble High School
  • Maureen Edgerton, Edward Little High School
  • Kristen McGovern, North Haven Community School
  • Kathy Floyd, RSU 14 (Windham Raymond Adult Ed)
  • Sue Lamdin, Brunswick Junior High School
  • Judd Thompson, Warsaw Middle School
  • Michelle Miclette, Boothbay Region Elementary School

Colby Environmental Studies Faculty Members Visit Bigelow Campus

Front row (left to right): Abby Pearson, Suzi Cole, Loren McClenachan, Lia Morris, and Travis Reynolds. Back row (left to right): Tour guide David McClellan, Russ Cole, Ben Neal, and Philip Nyhus. Photo by Tatiana Brailovskaya.

Faculty from the Colby College Environmental Studies Program visited the Laboratory's Ocean Science and Education Campus this past spring for an opportunity to tour the facilities and meet with researchers. Bigelow Laboratory entered into a formal strategic partnership with Colby College two years ago. Bigelow senior scientists are regularly teaching courses at the College during its January Program (JanPlan) semester, mentoring Colby student interns, and will be welcoming Colby students to Changing Oceans, the first full semester-in-residence at the Laboratory, beginning in September.


New Trace Gases Research Paper

Dr. Steve Archer processing samples aboard the RRS Discovery.Photo by Seb Hennige.

Dr. Steve Archer, one of the Laboratory's newest Senior Research Scientists, is co-author of a paper about ocean-atmosphere trace gas exchange, which was just published in a special issue on Atmospheric Chemistry in Chemical Society Reviews (DOI: 10.1039/c2cs35121h). Co-authors are Lucy J. Carpenter from the University of York's Department of Chemistry and Rachel Beale, a senior analytical chemist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK. According to the researchers, "sea-air exchange can have global scale impacts on biogeochemical cycling, photochemical processing, aerosol formation, and climate..."

Bigelow Scientist Interviewed by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

CBC Radio in New Brunswick, Canada recently interviewed Senior Research Scientist Dr. Barney Balch about research by his Remote Sensing and Ocean Observation team that links the decline in Gulf of Maine phytoplankton productivity to climate change. Data from this research has been published in the Marine Ecology Progress Series, 2012, 450:11-25) and the story has been widely covered in the press. A podcast of the CBC Radio interview is available here.

Boothbay Region High School Awards

Bigelow Laboratory participated in the Boothbay Region High School's 2012 awards ceremony by presenting a $500 scholarship to graduating senior Andrew Goode to use toward his studies of marine biology at the University of Maine-Orono. Junior Mikayla McFetridge received a copy of the anniversary edition of Rachel Carson's The Sea Around Us.

International Algae Competition Winners

Bigelow Laboratory was a sponsor of the First International Algae Competition, launched at the World Algae Congress in San Francisco in early December 2010. The competition invited 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. Seven prizes were awarded from among 140 entries submitted from 40 countries. Winners included Green Loop: Marina City Global Algae Retrofitting, Chicago, USA; Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution: Federal Building, Los Angeles, USA; Urban Algae Culture in Gangxiacun, China; Circular Tank Technology, Antenna Technolgies, Switzerland; Organic Spirulina Microfarm with Biogas Plant, Normandy, France; Algae, vegetables, and herbs inside an alginate sphere, Biosphere, France; Dances with Algae Cookbook, Canada; and Algae-Powered Mushroom Farm, Congo.

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