Harvard professor explores marine biology with teens

first_imgThe ocean holds 97 percent of the Earth’s water and covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface. Twenty percent of the protein that the human race consumes comes from the ocean. Yet more than 95 percent of the ocean remains unexplored. In fact, we have seen more of the surface of the moon — which is approximately 240,000 miles away — than we have of the ocean floor, which is seven miles at its deepest.According to Peter Girguis, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology (OEB) at Harvard University, the ocean’s various challenges, unexplored terrain, sheer enormity, and vast importance in issues such as transportation, commerce, food, and even climate change make the the study of marine science more relevant today than ever before.  Girguis hosted nearly two dozen high school students from Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS) on Harvard’s campus recently for a discussion about the various career paths available in marine science.He urged the students to think outside the box, telling them that marine science is about more than studying fish. It’s interdisciplinary; it involves chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, and even computer science.For example, the ocean, he said, plays an enormous role in climate change. Its ability to absorb heat means it has some potential to dampen temperature swings. “It will help to some degree, but the problem is that we just don’t know how quickly it will work. A hundred years? A thousand years? It’s hard to say, and we also don’t know how badly — and how quickly — [climate change] will affect all the marine life.”In addition to careers involving marine science and climate change, students, he suggested, might consider building robots that would sit on the ocean floor and send critical data to shore. Still others might explore ways in which the ocean could be used more efficiently for commerce and global business, such as developing ships that could more quickly transport products from one location to the next, or outsmarting competition by discovering and utilizing new sea routes.“There are a lot of job opportunities regarding the ocean, you need only to keep an open mind,” Girguis said.The high school students talked to Girguis’ graduate students and toured the OEB Biolabs, learning more about some of the ongoing projects being conducted by Girguis’ team.Earlier in the day they toured the Harvard Museum of Natural History, where they explored various specimens and examined swimming underwater robots.The collaboration between Girguis, CRLS marine biology teacher Paul McGuinness, M.Ed. ’06, and the high school students is not new. Last spring, three CRLS marine biology students spent the semester with Girguis and his graduate students conducting research in Harvard’s labs. The internship program will continue this upcoming spring, and there is a desire on both sides to extend and expand the program.“It’s a huge addition to the curriculum for CRLS marine biology students to be able to visit a world-class research lab at Harvard and talk directly to researchers like Dr. Girguis and his staff,” said McGuinness, noting the high marks students gave to Girguis’ lecture and his willingness to engage them directly. “They were also impressed by the high-level range of projects that the graduate students were working on,” McGuinness said.“I had a great time! I loved seeing how passionate Professor Girguis is about his research and really enjoyed hearing him explain how and why he decided to enter into the field of marine biology,” said 17-year-old Eleanor Lieberman, a senior at CRLS.Girguis, one of the world’s most respected marine biologists, explained his rather unconventional entry into the field.“I grew up in southeastern Los Angeles,” he said. “I wasn’t hanging out with the movie stars or sailing around on my yacht. We didn’t have a lot of money. Most people in my town worked at a local factory that made the Apollo moon rockets. As a kid, I’d go there, and they’d let you sit in a simulator for free — and pretend you were manning the rocket. It’s the first time that I realized that anybody — no matter who you were, or where you were from — could be part of great things if you worked hard enough and wanted it bad enough.”last_img read more

Mount Sinai Crash Leaves Driver Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 43-year-old man was killed when he crashed his car in his hometown of Mount Sinai on Sunday evening.Suffolk County police said Edward Drumgole was driving a Honda Accord southbound on Chestnut Street when he lost control of the vehicle, struck a tree, spun around and hit a pole at 5 p.m.The victim was taken to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where he was pronounced dead.Sixth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information to call them at 631-854-8652.last_img

West Brom name Irvine head coach

first_img Press Association Albion technical director Terry Burton told the club’s official website: “I’m delighted we have been able to secure the services of Alan and Rob.” The Baggies had been heavily linked with former Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood and Saturday’s news may be slightly underwhelming for Baggies fans, given Irvine’s lack of management experience in the top flight. The Glaswegian was sacked at both Preston and Wednesday, who were relegated to League One under his tenure, and he has not taken charge of a club since leaving Hillsborough in 2011. However, he has played a prominent role at Everton, helping to bring through the likes of Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell to the senior team. And the Baggies are now convinced they have the set-up in place – with Dean Kiely remaining as goalkeeping coach – to improve on last season’s 17th-placed Premier League finish. Burton added: “With the support of Keith and Dean, we firmly believe we have put in place the right coaching team to move the club forward. “From the outset, we decided to pursue candidates who are renowned for their coaching ability and Alan was very much at the forefront of our thoughts because of his achievements in the Premier League and the high regard he is held within the game. “In the end it came down to two outstanding candidates for the role. “But, following a detailed recruitment process, we decided Alan and the team around him are best suited to tackle the challenges we face in the Barclays Premier League. “He has a vast knowledge from grassroots up thanks to the roles he has performed during his decades in the game and knows what it takes through good and testing times.” West Brom have announced former Preston and Sheffield Wednesday manager Alan Irvine as their new head coach on a 12-month rolling contract.center_img The Scot will succeed Pepe Mel, who left the club by mutual consent the day after the Barclays Premier League season finished last month, once he “signs off” from his current role as Everton’s academy manager. Rob Kelly, who worked under Irvine at Preston and Wednesday, has also been appointed joint assistant head coach, alongside Keith Downing. last_img read more