2006 After Hours Lectures

A Mercurial Change for the Bay?

(November 30, 2006) Mercury, a pollutant that accumulates as people eat contaminated seafood, is the leading cause of fish-consumption advisories in and around Chesapeake Bay. Nationally, 1 in 12 U.S. women of childbearing age has unsafe mercury levels. In 2005, EPA issued a Clean Air Mercury Rule that is the first of its kind to regulate mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. Join Dr. Steve Brooks of the NOAA Air Resources Lab as he explores the present state of mercury pollution and how this new law will likely affect the Bay and tidewater Virginia.

Jellyfish in Chesapeake Bay: Rise of the Slime?

(October 26, 2006) Jellyfish are common residents of Chesapeake Bay, as many swimmers, anglers, and boaters are painfully aware. But has this always been the case? Join VIMS jellyfish expert Rob Condon as he describes the natural history of these creatures, and efforts to better understand seasonal, year-to-year, and long-term changes in jellyfish populations in the Bay and around the world.

Hiatus due to auditorium renovation.

The Tide Next Time

(February 22, 2006) Sea level rose by about one foot in Chesapeake Bay between the "Storm King" hurricane of 1933 and Hurricane Isabel in 2003. Rising sea level helps explain why the storm tides for both events were nearly identical (even though Isabel was a less powerful hurricane), but it doesn't tell the whole story. Join us as VIMS emeritus Professor and renowned tide expert Dr. John Boon explains how daily, seasonal, and year-to-year changes in tide levels can help predict just how high future storm tides might reach. Signed copies of Boon's recent book "Secrets of the Tide" will be available for purchase.

Sand Dunes of the Chesapeake

(January 26, 2006) Sand dunes adorn ocean beaches and deserts around the world. Less familiar are the coastal dunes of Chesapeake Bay. These unique landforms, which help stem coastal erosion and harbor a rare community of plants and animals, are threatened by continued coastal development. Join VIMS geologist Scott Hardaway as he explains how dunes form, the ecosystem services they provide, the risks they face, and the research he has done to help conserve and protect dune systems. Hardaway, who was recently selected to the National Academy of Sciences shoreline erosion committee, is a world-renowned expert on shoreline management.