2008 After Hours Lectures

Ghost pots in the Bay

(October 30, 2008) Our annual Halloween lecture features Dr. Kirk Havens of VIMS’ Center for Coastal Resources Management, who describes how continued fishing by  “ghost" crab pots impacts Chesapeake Bay. These pots, used by watermen to harvest blue crabs from Chesapeake Bay and other estuaries, are inevitably lost during storms or when accidentally cut free by boaters.  Havens will present the results of his NOAA-funded study of the impacts of derelict fishing gear in the Bay.

Can algae fuel our cars?

(September 25, 2008) State and federal energy plans call for production of ethanol and biodiesel fuels from corn, soybeans, and other sources. Join VIMS Professor Liz Canuel as she describes her collaborative effort  to turn the kinds of algae that are choking Chesapeake Bay into a renewable fuel that might one day help power our cars. Canuel's research is part of a project with the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (VCERC).

Corn ethanol and Chesapeake Bay: Unforeseen consequences

(August 28, 2008) How might our drive to shift from fossil fuels toward renewable options such as corn ethanol affect Chesapeake Bay? Join Virginia Tech Professor Jim Pease as he explores the potential economic and environmental consequences of large-scale ethanol production for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Climate change (aka global warming): Is it real or a hoax?

(June 5, 2008) Join NASA scientist Bruce Wielicki as he examines the science and politics of global warming. Wielicki, a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize as a contributing author to the latest IPCC Climate Change Report, will describe climate change past and present, as well as what researchers predict for the future. He will also discuss key uncertainties in climate change science, why controversy persists, and where to go for solid information.

Climate change and national security

(May 14, 2008) Lt. Gen. Lawrence Farrell (USAF Ret.) will consider the threats that climate change poses to national security. Farrell, currently President and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association, will highlight a recent report that he co-authored as part of a blue-ribbon panel commissioned by the Center for Naval Analyses. The report contends that climate change has serious consequences for US military operations and facilities both abroad and at home, including those in Hampton Roads.

New technologies to monitor the Chesapeake

(March 27, 2008) Recent advances in marine and communications technology promise to revolutionize the way that researchers monitor the health of Chesapeake Bay and the ocean. Join VIMS Associate Professor John Brubaker as he explores how scientists and citizens can use real-time data from a new generation of data buoys to "take the pulse" of the Bay.

Gasping for air: The search for missing oxygen in the York River

(February 28, 2008) The Chesapeake 2000 agreement defines water-quality standards for a healthy Bay ecosystem. Join Dr. Mark Brush as he describes how a high-tech instrument called Acrobat helps VIMS researchers detect when the York River fails to meet standards for dissolved oxygen— and to determine what's consuming the oxygen that the river needs to sustain marine life.

Sturgeon: ancient fish, troubled future

(January 31, 2008) With prehistoric looks, a fossil record that stretches back 80 million years, and premium caviar, sturgeons have captured the attention of scientists and the public alike. However, all 25 species of sturgeons worldwide are now threatened or endangered due to over fishing and habitat loss. Join Dr. Eric Hilton as he explores the evolution of sturgeons, including the discoveries of new fossil species, and the uncertain future of the "fish that saved America."