WHOI Waypoints: Scientists Share Ocean Discoveries With the Public


From the newsroom to the classroom to congressional briefing rooms, WHOI staff and scientists have been sharing the wonder of scientific discovery with the American public.

• On June 27, Research Associate Anne Cohen (Geology and Geophysics) was invited to testify before the Resources Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries Conservation and Wildlife of the U.S. House of Representatives. During a hearing on the impact of climate change, Cohen gave testimony on “Coral Death and Ocean Warming: Unprecedented Increases in the Last Two Decades.”

• On July 15 and 16, Deep Ocean Exploration Institute Director Susan Humphris (Geology and Geophysics), and Assistant Scientist Tim Shank (Biology) briefed more than sixty staff members from the Senate and House of Representatives on the need for deep-ocean research and a deep-submergence capability. They also held a meeting with Congressman Wayne Gilchrest (R-Maryland).

• The Dive and Discover Web site (www.divediscover.whoi.edu) was recently chosen by Scientific American for a 2002 SciTech Web Award as one of the Web’s five best science and technology sites in the “Earth and Environment” category. It is the second year in which Dive and Discover has been selected for that award.

• In June, filmmakers for The Science Channel spent two weeks at sea aboard Oceanus with Ocean Life Institute Director Larry Madin. They shot footage for an upcoming show about mid-water creatures that will air in 2003 as part of a ten-part series called “Science of the Deep.”

• An April 18 op-ed piece in The New York Times under the byline of Senior Scientist Terry Joyce (Physical Oceanography) provoked calls, letters, and requests for interviews. CBS Evening News interviewed Joyce about how global warming could lead to regional cooling for a segment that aired on April 22. Discover sent a writer to interview Joyce, Senior Scientist Lloyd Keigwin, Research Specialist Ruth Curry, and Ocean and Climate Change Institute Director Bill Curry for a September cover story about abrupt climate change.

• The Information Office, the Education Office, and WHOI Sea Grant hosted a workshop for 28 science educators on April 26 in the Exhibit Center. Teachers were offered science talks on various topics, including coastal pollution and technology for deep ocean exploration. WHOI scientists Ken Brink, Judy Fenwick, Lauren Mullineaux, Debbie Smith, and Simon Thorrold participated. Funding for the workshop was provided by The Ducommun and Gross Family Foundation.

WHOI Corporation Member Rick Abrams and WHOI Sea Grant Board Member Karen Tierney moderated a discussion about ways to enhance interest in and knowledge of ocean science. Abrams is president of Tom Snyder Productions, an educational software publisher in the K-12 market. Tierney is a freelance writer and educator who creates enrichment programs for elementary age children.