Archive for July 17th, 2009

I Heart Jorge Cham

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | July 17, 2009 12:08 pm

Just over a year ago, a film crew from a popular morning show arrived on campus to interview me about large-scale algal blooms because there was a related story in the news.  They wanted to shoot near a body of water to ‘look like we were in the field‘, so set up their equipment near a small pond by the parking lot. The conversation, more or less, went like this:

Reporter: ‘Can you dip your hand in the water, maybe play with some lily pads.

Me: ‘Huh? Guys, I do marine science, so this pond isn’t related to my work and doesn’t exactly have anything to do with algal blooms in the ocean.

Reporter: ‘Let’s get started… So the blooms, they’re most likely caused by the sun right?

Me: ‘I expect it has more to do with a lot of extra nutrients being emptied into the ocean such as runoff from agricultural practices in the region. This provides an excellent environment for algae to bloom which depletes oxygen levels. Eventually it can sometimes lead to what’s called a dead zone…’

Reporter: ‘Stop, let’s reshoot. We need you to say something about the sun being a factor.  And let’s get you wading into the water. Pretend you’re catching something.

Me: ‘Uh, the sun didn’t cause the bloom… and you do realize I’m wearing a dress, right?

Reporter: ‘You can say your reason too, but name the sun as another ‘theory’. And just look science-y.

Anyway, the segment never made it to air. Go figure. Jorge Cham sums it up well here:

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Media and Science

Science, Art, And A Red-eyed Tree Frog

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | July 17, 2009 10:14 am

Nicolas Devos is a scientist, wildlife photographer, and also happens to be one of my favorite artists.  His lens captures ephemeral moments in nature through the eyes of a biologist who understands the form, function, and physiology of his subjects. To see more of his images from around the world, click here.

Red-eyed tree frog in Costa Rica at La Selva Biological Station, 2009

ndevos.jpg

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Media and Science
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