Breaking Waves: Ocean News

04/15/2019 - 08:48
Ocean Leadership ~ Invasive species spotted in DC: Orca, sea lions, lobsters, manatees, sturgeon … oh my! While the Potomac River is the closest thing we have to the ocean in D.C., this weekend more than 100 high school students from across the nation came to the district to compete in the 22nd annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) Finals. Congratulations to Albany High School (Albany, California), our first-place team, on their second national title. Congratulations are also in order to the Ketchikan High School team (Ketchikan, Alaska), winners of the prestigious James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award. I know all of our competing teams (many named for aqueous animals) enjoyed Finals and are returning home even more excited about their futures as they relate to marine science and the ocean writ large. For the past 22 years the NOSB has educated the next generation of ocean leaders, giving high school students the opportunity to learn about ocean science — a topic often not covered in formal curricula. An academic quiz bowl-style competition, the NOSB tests students’ knowledge of scientific and social issues related to the world’s ocean, lakes, and rivers. The nail-biting finishes, incredible teamwork, and exemplary sportsmanship are as impressive and entertaining as any high school, college, or professional sporting event I’ve ever attended. These young men and women are phenomenal, and I am honored to be associated with them and with the NOSB program that ADM James Watkins and Dr. Rick Spinrad created over two decades ago. For this year’s theme, Observe the Ocean; Secure the Future, NOSB students studied the technology needed to observe the ocean; how and why scientists gather ocean data; the challenges of processing and analyzing large, complex data sets; and how ocean observations help address crucial societal needs. Teams also presented science recommendations on a piece of legislation in the Science Expert Briefing (SEB), a mock congressional hearing that enhances the critical thinking elements of the competition and focuses on real-world skills. A HUGE thank you to the NOSB’s sponsors, many committed volunteers, regional coordinators, coaches, parents, and staff for making this season a success – none of these events would be possible without you. Congratulations and well done to every team who competed this season in our regional bowls and at Finals. You inspire me and give me confidence that the future of our ocean is in exceedingly capable hands. And don’t forget to keep in touch! Study Looks to Iron from Microbes for Climate Help Distributing iron particles produced by bacteria could “fertilize” microscopic ocean plants and ultimately lower atmospheric carbon levels, according to a new paper in Frontiers. “It is important that we explore ideas for climate change mitigation that can supplement the effects of decreasing carbon emissions,” said David Emerson, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and author of the paper. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: http://oceanleadership.org/newsletter-archive/ The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 04-15-2019 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
04/15/2019 - 04:57
Death of Yangtze giant softshell turtle came a day after artificial insemination attempt The world’s rarest turtle has moved closer to extinction after a female died in a Chinese zoo, leaving just three known members of the species. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle, believed to be more than 90 years old, died in Suzhou zoo on Saturday, according to the Suzhou Daily. Continue reading...
04/15/2019 - 04:41
Climate group occupies major landmarks in campaign that could last several days Tell us if you are taking part Thousands of people have blocked well-known landmarks including Waterloo Bridge in central London, bringing widespread disruption to the capital in a “climate rebellion” that organisers say could last several days. Parents and their children joined scientists, teachers, long-term environmentalists and other protesters both young and old to occupy major junctions and demand urgent action over the escalating ecological crisis. Continue reading...
04/15/2019 - 02:00
Not a single leatherback nested at the Chacocente reserve this year as the species faces threats of poaching and warming seas Every year, from November through March, leatherback sea turtles arrive to the secluded shores of the Río Escalante Chacocente wildlife reserve on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast to lay their eggs. Though leatherback nesting habits vary, Chacocente has been a reliable egg-laying site for as long as conservationists have collected nesting data. Continue reading...
04/15/2019 - 00:00
Imports of waste from across the country have turned parts of the state into ‘a toilet bowl’ – and residents are fighting back West Jefferson, Alabama, a somnolent town of around 420 people north-west of Birmingham, was an unlikely venue to seize the national imagination. Now, it has the misfortune to be forever associated with the “poop train”. David Brasfield, a retired coalminer who has lived in West Jefferson for 45 years, thought at first the foul stench came from the carcass of a shot pig. By the time he realized that human feces was being transported from 1,000 miles away to a nearby landfill site, a scene of biblical pestilence was unfolding upon West Jefferson. Continue reading...
04/14/2019 - 23:31
Workers begin to empty storage pool – but more critical removal of melted fuel from reactors themselves will be more challenging Workers at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have begun removing fuel rods from a storage pool near one of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns eight years ago. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said on Monday that work had begun to remove the first of 566 used and unused fuel assemblies in reactor building No 3. Continue reading...
04/14/2019 - 15:35
Nearly 90,000 customers left without power At least 25 taken to hospitals in east Texas 55 homes destroyed in town of Franklin Powerful storms swept across the southern US on Sunday, after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least six people, including three children, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town. Nearly 90,000 customers were without power in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia as of midday Sunday. Continue reading...
04/14/2019 - 14:22
Ocean Leadership ~ The Albany High School team with Senior Education Program Manager at NOAA Sarah Schoedinger and Consortium for Ocean Leadership President and CEO RADM Jon White USN (Ret.) Ketchikan High School Takes Home James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award (Washington, D.C.) – On Sunday, students from Albany High School (Albany, California) won the National Finals of the 22nd Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). This is Albany High School’s fifth time at Finals and their second National title. An interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the NOSB tests students’ knowledge of ocean science topics, including cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. Students on the championship team include James Hort, Evan Zhong, Nathan Skinner, Maria Fedyk, and Ruby Tang (team photo below). They are coached by Andy Marsh. To qualify for Finals, the 24 competing teams first had to win their regional competitions. In total, more than 365 teams (made up of approximately 1,825 students representing 33 states) participated, adding to the over than 30,000 students who have passed through the ocean sciences competition over the last 22 years. A full list of the 2019 NOSB Finals participants is available here. Buzzer-style multiple choice and longer, critical thinking-based questions covered cross-disciplinary ocean science knowledge as well as topics relevant to the theme, Observe the Ocean, Secure the Future. These questions tested students on their knowledge of the technology needed to observe the ocean, how and why scientists gather ocean data, the challenges of processing such huge data sets, and how ocean observations address societal needs. Teams also presented science recommendations on a piece of legislation in the Science Expert Briefing (SEB), a mock congressional hearing that enhances the critical thinking elements of the competition and focuses on real-world skills. The top eight teams at the Finals Competition were: 1st Place – Albany High School (Albany, California) 2nd Place – Santa Monica High School (Santa Monica, California) 3rd Place – Ladue Horton Watkins High School (St. Louis, Missouri) 4th Place – Centerville High School (Centerville, Ohio) 5th Place – Marine Academy of Science and Technology (Highlands, New Jersey) 6th Place – Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport, Oregon) 7th Place – Newport High School (Bellevue, Washington) 8th Place – Science and Technology Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut (New London, Connecticut) The NOSB places an emphasis on sportsmanship and awarded Ketchikan High School (Ketchikan, Alaska) the James D. Watkins Sportsmanship Award. Additionally, participants were scored separately on their performance in the SEB. Albany High School also won this portion of the competition, while Santa Monica High School took home second, and Raleigh Charter High School (Raleigh, North Carolina) and Newport High School tied for third. The weekend was about more than just the competition. During the opening ceremony, Dr. Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, delivered the keynote address, commending the students for their hard work and passion for ocean science. Students also got to take part in hands-on field trips that took them in and around Washington, D.C., visualizing global data at Science on a Sphere (NOAA National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction), touring the Anacostia by boat followed by the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, modeling scientific practices in a “Reefs Unleashed” Q?ruis workshop (Smithsonian Museum of Natural History), going behind the scenes at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, seeing a demonstration of the Johns Hopkins University remotely operated underwater robotic vehicle, enjoying a VIP tour of the Smithsonian National Zoo, and learning how to advocate and engage members of Congress (ThinkOcean). “Congratulations to our winners from Albany High School and to all teams who participated in our regional bowls and at the national level,” said RADM Jon White, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “Every year, I’m tremendously impressed with the students competing in the NOSB, and this year is no exception. These students and their peers are our next generation of ocean leaders, and they show that both in their commitment to the study of ocean science and the passion with which they approach all facets of the competition. This year’s theme feels especially apt—with these students at the helm, I’m confident we will ‘Secure the Future’ of our ocean.” “Thanks to everyone who made this weekend a success – from the students themselves to their dedicated teachers and the many volunteers serving as judges, moderators, question writers, and mentors,” added Kristen Yarincik, NOSB Program Director. “Hosting the NOSB Finals in Washington, D.C. provided an opportunity to highlight for the students the important ocean observing and related work being done by our federal sponsors and to remind our agencies why ocean education is critical to our future workforce and environmental sustainability. Thanks to all who made this a great Finals.” For their first-place win, Albany High School was awarded a trip to Monterey Bay this summer, where they will visit many of the nearby oceanographic institutions and learn about local scientific and conservation efforts. Santa Monica High School was also awarded a trip and will visit the Virginia Institute of Marine Science later this summer to learn about their coastal Virginia research first-hand. The third-place team, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, was awarded reclaimed sail backpacks for each team member. The other top teams received Amazon gift cards to purchase marine science textbooks as well as products made from recycled plastic and reclaimed sails. Ketchikan High School, the James D. Watkins Sportsmanship prize-winning team, received the same buzzer system used in the competition and an Amazon gift certificate. The 2019 national NOSB program is made possible through the following major sponsors: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Naval Research Wendy & Eric Schmidt Deerbrook Charitable Trust National Aeronautics and Space Administration American Honda Foundation Shell Exploration & Production Company Eastman Foundation Lockheed Martin Sea World and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation Shari and Wayne Sternberger A complete list of sponsors can be found here. About National Ocean Sciences Bowl The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, D.C. Now in its 22nd year, the NOSB seeks to interest students in pursuing a college degree and a future career in the ocean sciences. Through this educational forum, the NOSB strives to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates, and informed citizens to consider and appreciate the ocean. Most high school students do not have the opportunity to study ocean science as part of their formal coursework, which makes the NOSB one of the only ways students gain exposure to this field.  Many past NOSB participants have moved on to pursue college degrees and careers in ocean science, helping to solve the growing environmental, economic and security issues facing our ocean and planet. About Consortium for Ocean Leadership The Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) is a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization that represents the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria, and industry with the mission to shape the future of ocean science and technology. In addition to its advocacy role as the voice of the ocean research and technology community, COL manages a variety of community-wide research and education programs in areas of ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships. The post Albany High School Sails to Victory in 22nd Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
04/14/2019 - 12:34
Disrupting traffic is not enough – we must disrupt our progress towards climate catastrophe The planned choking of traffic in central London on Monday by climate activists of Extinction Rebellion falls somewhere between street theatre and direct action. If it is successful it will be costly for the demonstrators, some of whom plan to be arrested, burdensome for bus passengers who can’t get to work, and vexing for car drivers who (unlike those in emergency vehicles) will be held up. And yet, should it fail, the long-term costs of climate change will be immense for almost everybody now alive and for all our descendents, too. In the short term, the rage of the frustrated motorist remains one of the most powerful political forces in countries like ours. The gilets jaunes movement in France started off in part as a protest against price rises on petrol; the Blair government sustained its first big defeat at the hands of lorry drivers in the fuel protests of 2000, which destroyed a sensible and ecologically necessary plan to raise fuel taxes steadily over time to discourage the use of fossil fuels. Continue reading...
04/14/2019 - 04:40
Danny Faure gives speech from submersible 120 metres below surface of Indian Ocean The president of the Seychelles has made a plea for stronger protection of the “beating blue heart of our planet”, in a speech delivered from deep below the ocean’s surface. Danny Faure’s call for action, billed as the first live speech from a submersible, came during a visit to an ambitious British-led science expedition exploring the Indian Ocean depths. Continue reading...