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Outreach

USGS Scientist Participates in Panel Discussion after Film on Ocean Acidification


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Ilsa Kuffner, Lori Adornato, and David White
Above: The film A Sea Change raises issues about ocean acidification, chemistry, uncertainty in science, and public perceptions and concerns about current and future policy directions. Three panelists led the post-film discussion and answered questions from the audience (left to right): Ilsa Kuffner, USGS; Lori Adornato, SRI International; and David White, Ocean Conservancy. [larger version]

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Ilsa Kuffner joined SRI International Research Engineer Lori Adornato and Ocean Conservancy Southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Regional Director David White in a panel discussion on June 8, 2009, after a public screening of the movie A Sea Change: Imagine a World Without Fish. The film was hosted by the International Ocean Institute and was shown at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's auditorium coincident with World Oceans Day 2009. Bill Hogarth, Dean of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, introduced the event.

The film follows a grandfather seeking to better understand the relations between atmospheric carbon and ocean chemistry in simple language and examples so that he can relay messages to future generations, including his own grandson. (More information about the movie, including a trailer, is posted on the Sea Change Web site.)

The panel discussion reiterated that changes in ocean chemistry are measurable and well documented. Research ecologist Kuffner said, "We have well-documented data indicating that ocean pH has been decreasing for 20 years. There is very little uncertainty about the trends." Translating this information and putting it into a context that reaches the public is likely the largest challenge. Getting the public interested in a subject like ocean chemistry seems to be the next step. "Once the public understands this issue and the implications on a global scale, it is very likely we can pull together and address these changes. Look what we did with DDT and with the hole in the ozone," said David White.

The film, which is not yet publically available, is geared for general audiences to raise awareness about global effects from changes in ocean chemistry. Mara Hendrix of the International Ocean Institute organized the screening and is looking for more ways to share the film and its message with the general public.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Coral-Reef Builders Vulnerable to Ocean Acidification
March 2008
Discovering the Effects of CO2 Levels on Marine Life and Global Climate
January 2007

Related Web Sites
A Sea Change: Imagine a World Without Fish
Web site about the film

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Research
cover story:
Study Demonstrates How Methylmercury Forms in the Ocean

Nutrient Delivery to Gulf of Mexico Above 30-Year Average

Fieldwork Submarine Landslides as Potential Triggers of Tsunamis

Photographic Overflight Provides Baseline for Coastal Change Assessments

Climate Past, Climate Future: A Story of Aquatic Plants

Outreach SCUBAnauts Visit Capitol Hill During Ocean Week

USGS Scientist Participates in Panel About Ocean Acidification

Meetings New England Lidar Workshop

Awards Jeff Williams Receives 2009 Coastal Zone Foundation Career Award

USGS Scientist Receives Best Student Poster Award

DOI Award Recognizes Coast Salish Tribal Journey Partnership

Staff and Center News New USGS Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Publications August 2009 Publications List


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