WHOI Hosts Bilingual Science Symposium

Free Event Aims to Increase Community Access to Ocean Research


Spanish | Portuguese

The organizers of a new event at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) want to make ocean science more accessible to people who are not native English speakers by reaching out to two of the largest non-English-speaking communities on Cape Cod: those who speak Spanish or Portuguese. The symposium, “OCEANOS: WHOI en Español e Português,” will feature short presentations in either language about marine and related research by students and scientists from WHOI and other science institutions in Woods Hole, Mass. The event is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is recommended.

“There are many Spanish and/or Portuguese speakers in our area who may not even be aware of the amazing science research going on right here in Woods Hole,” said event co-organizer Gabriela Farfan, a MIT-WHOI Joint Program student in marine chemistry. “We hope this symposium will help change that.”

Farfan, a first-generation native Spanish speaker from Chile, will present her doctoral research examining the impacts of climate change on the structure and chemistry of coral reefs. Other planned topics range from subsea seismology to the ecology of tiny marine crustaceans.

The symposium keynote speakers will be Drs. Marcia Macedo and Paulo Brando, ecosystem ecologists from the Woods Hole Research Center. Macedo and Brando, who are both Brazilian, will discuss the connections between oceans, climate, and the health of Amazon forests and rivers.

Event co-organizer and research assistant Luis Valentin-Alvarado will talk about his work in the Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department at WHOI, studying the role of proteins as master regulators of biogeochemical cycles in the ocean. Valentin-Alvarado is from small town in Puerto Rico.

“Science—and scientists—can sometimes seem unapproachable to people outside the scientific community,” Valentin-Alvarado said. “That’s why it’s so important for us to communicate our research to the broadest possible audience.” To facilitate global participation, WHOI will broadcast the OCEANOS symposium via Facebook Live.

The symposium will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Room 507 of the Clark Building on the WHOI Quissett Campus. Light refreshments will be served. More information about the free event is available here.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu.

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The symposium, “OCEANOS: WHOI en Español e Português,” aims to make ocean science more accessible to people who are not native English speakers.