Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Ocean Life, Planet Health

Jun 2011 eNews

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Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
News for June 21, 2011: Happy Summer Solstice!

Café Scientifique: Summer 2011 Science Conversations
The Laboratory’s 2011 summer Café Scientifique gatherings begin on Tuesday, June 28 with a conversation about red tide led by Senior Research Scientist Dr. Cynthia Heil. Heil will discuss the impact of harmful algal blooms on coastal regions and her work to understand, predict, and mitigate the damage these blooms cause to ocean life and human health. The Laboratory’s Café Scientifique gatherings are informal conversations about ocean exploration, scientific discovery, and current issues in scientific research. The series will run every Tuesday evening, June 28 through August 30, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, 86 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor, Maine. All the talks are free and open to the public, with beer, wine, and sodas available for purchase. The complete program is available on our website. Come join the conversation!

GEOTRACES Expedition in the South Pacific Ocean

R/V Southern Surveyor. © Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, 2003–2011.

Research Associate David Drapeau, a member of Bigelow Laboratory’s Ocean Observing and Optics Laboratory team, is part of the scientific crew aboard Australia’s R/V Southern Surveyor, conducting trace metal sampling in the waters of the South Pacific. The GEOTRACES program is an international initiative to study the world’s ocean basins through a series of major expeditions over ten years in order “to improve understanding of biogeochemical cycles and large-scale distribution of trace elements and their isotopes in the marine environment.” Scientists from approximately 30 nations are involved in the program. The researchers working on the six-week Southern Surveyor expedition are keeping a regular blog about their work and life at sea.

REU 2011 Roster

Photo by Rebecca Fowler.

On June 5, the Laboratory welcomed 11 students from universities and colleges across the United States to the start of Gulf of Maine and the World Ocean 2011, a ten-week immersion in ocean science sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) REU Program, with additional support from an NSF Senior Research Scientist Supplement and Colby College. This is the Laboratory’s third year as a national REU site. The goal of the program is to give undergraduates the opportunity to conduct independent scientific inquiry, work with senior scientists mentors, and use state-of-the art methods and technologies. Over 200 students submitted applications for this summer’s program. This year’s REU students are: Mark Chaffin, Colby College; Kai Eldredge, University of Chicago; Abigail Fuchsman, Bard College; Kate Hamre, Colby College; Alexandra Lopez, Inter American University of Puerto Rico-San German; Nicole Messerman, University of Maine-Orono; Helena Pound, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Angel Ruacho, University of California-Irvine; Nicholas Schulte, Tennessee Technological University; Alexander Vermont, Northern Arizona University-Yuma; and Louisa Walker, Colby College.

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Genome Symposium

Paulinella chromatophora cells. Photo by Robert Andersen.

Bigelow Laboratory and the National Science Foundation co-sponsored a two-day symposium, June 19–20, 2011, on the Paulinella genome project and the significance of algal genomics in understanding evolution. The project is tracing the origin of photosynthetic structures within plant cells by studying the genomes of Paulinella amoebas, some of which have recently evolved the same capacity for photosynthesis that led to the evolution of plants over a billion years ago. Organized by Senior Research Scientist Dr. Hwan Su Yoon, the symposium brought 16 scientists together from universities and research institutes in the United States, Germany, and Korea to share current discoveries and discuss future research collaborations.

CATT Interns
Two student interns have joined the Laboratory to work with Director of Corporate Alliances and Technology Transfer (CATT) Mark Bloom this summer. Rebecca Stevenson, who will be a junior majoring in international business at the University of Oklahoma this fall, is creating a database of the top 50 companies who are currently using the services of the Laboratory’s phytoplankton collection (the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for the Culture of Marine Phytoplankton), to help facilitate the development of the Bigelow Corporate Alliances Program. Thomas Winger, who will begin his junior year this fall majoring in geology, geophysics, and environmental sciences at Yale University, is meeting with the Laboratory’s senior researchers to create a preliminary technology application business plan that addresses how research in each individual laboratory may be applied in a commercial context. Stevenson is a graduate of Greeley High School in Cumberland Center, Maine; Winger graduated from Falmouth High School in Maine.

Photos by Mark Bloom.

Ingalls Foundation Grant Awarded to Keller BLOOM Program
We are delighted to announce that the Louise H. and David S. Ingalls Foundation has awarded $20,000 to support the Bigelow Laboratory Orders of Magnitude (BLOOM) Program for Maine high school juniors. The funds will be used to help cover costs of the 2011 Keller BLOOM program, as well as the Professional Development Workshop for Teachers scheduled for July 19 and 20, 2011.

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