A lecture series celebrating the “International Year of the Ocean” will feature UW faculty who’ve traveled to the seafloor in tiny submersibles, studied salmon from the wilds of Alaska to the heart of Seattle, and collected samples from some of the coldest and hottest spots on earth in search of unusual microorganisms.
The lectures, sponsored by the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, are free and open to the public. They will be at 7 p.m. in 120 Kane Hall.
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, oceanographer John Delaney will present, “Life in Our Solar System: It Takes an Ocean.” Delaney will explain how microbial forms of life flourishing within volcanic vents on the Earth’s seafloor lead some scientists to believe that similar systems on other planets may support living organisms.
Fisheries expert Thomas Quinn will discuss, “Salmon: Why all the fuss?” in the Wednesday, Oct. 14 lecture. Quinn will examine the economic, cultural and ecological value of salmon. He’ll describe their life cycle – emphasizing both their vulnerability to human activities and their resilience – and will challenge the audience to contemplate the future of these fish.
The series concludes Wednesday, Oct. 21, with oceanographer Jody Deming’s “Some Like it Cold: Arctic Microbes and Possible Life on Europa.” Thriving on sea ice or in water so briny it doesn’t freeze even at minus 30, cold-loving bacteria in the Arctic are being studied for their enzymes that break down organic matter and toxic wastes, their role in the Arctic ecosystem and the possibility that such organisms might be found on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.
The United Nations declared 1998 as the “International Year of the Ocean” to raise public awareness and understanding of the world’s oceans.
For information: Anita Whitney, College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, (206) 543-6492