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Unlocking Our Ocean Planet: A Lecture with Dr. Maureen Conte

Sponsored by UChicago Alumni Club

Sustained ocean observations have greatly contributed to our understanding of the ocean, marine ecosystems and the connectivities between the ocean, atmosphere and land. One of the most intensively observed regions in the world is the northern Sargasso Sea offshore Bermuda. There, several time-series research programs have measured key ocean parameters over many decades: the Hydrostation S time-series (1954-present) of biweekly profiles of key ocean properties in the upper 2600m, the Oceanic Flux Program time-series (OFP, 1978-present) of continuous measurements of the particle flux (the transfer of material from the surface to the seafloor) in the deep ocean, and the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series (BATS, 1988-present) of monthly measurements of upper ocean biological, chemical and physical parameters. 

So what are all these observations revealing about the workings of our ocean planet? In this lecture, you'll join an oceanographic cruise on the R/V Atlantic Explorer, a ship in the US research fleet, to recover the particle flux samples collected by sediment traps on the OFP time-series's deep ocean mooring. You'll learn why the oceanic particle flux, also called the ocean’s “biological pump,” is an essential process that regulates ocean health, and what detailed chemical analyses of the recovered flux material- together with data collected by other Bermuda programs- reveal about the vast ocean interior and its sensitivity to a changing climate. 


Saieh Hall, Room 203
1160 East 58th
Chicago, IL

Cost: $10

Contacts: Lisa Warshauer