Are you curious about issues that affect the marine environment? Then you’re invited to join the College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES) this summer for the annual Ocean Currents Public Lecture Series at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.
This year’s topics range from the natural history of the osprey to rescuing stranded marine mammals. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, take place once a month from May through August. Talks begin at 7 p.m. in Room 104 of Cannon Lab at the Lewes campus on Pilottown Road.
The first lecture in the series will be given by Assistant Professor of Oceanography Matt Oliver on Thursday, May 15. Oliver’s talk, “How Microscopic Ocean Algae Let Us Breathe, Have Babies, and Drive Cars (Really!),” will discuss the influences of photosynthesis on human life.
“Without algae, the present day concentration of oxygen wouldn’t be as high as it is,” Oliver said, explaining that half of the planet’s photosynthesis is done in the ocean by microscopic algae.
That’s important, he said, because humans rely on those high concentrations to do things like support fetuses, which require their parents to use extra oxygen to support them. Additionally, we use oil for gasoline to drive automobiles. That oil (carbon) is sequestered, or stored, by ancient photosynthesizers.
Oliver joined the CMES faculty in February 2008, after receiving his doctorate in oceanography at Rutgers University, and is a recent recipient of a NASA New Investigator Award. His research interests integrate the diverse fields of phytoplankton oceanography and physiology, biogeography, remote sensing, ocean observing, and phytoplankton physiology, evolution, and genome evolution. Read more about Oliver here.
The hourlong talk will be followed by light refreshments. While the lecture is free, seating is limited and reservations are suggested. For reservations, or to check dates, times, and topics of upcoming lectures, contact CMES’ Peggy Conlon at email@example.com or 302-645-4279.
For more information you also can visit the CMES web site at www.ocean.udel.edu and click on Workshop, Seminar, Lecture and Event Schedules.