2011 After Hours Lectures

Secrets of the Seafloor

(October 27, 2011) Seafloor sediments can hold a detailed record of the environmental history of a waterbody and its watershed. VIMS professor Steve Kuehl explores the stories hidden in seafloor sediments cored from the Chesapeake Bay and from sites as distant as New Zealand. Professor Kuehl has led a number of international expeditions to collect and analyze sediment cores as long-term recorders of natural and human-caused environmental changes.

Harmful algal blooms in Chesapeake Bay

(September 29, 2011) Harmful algal blooms, otherwise known as "red tides," are of growing concern in coastal waters worldwide, including Chesapeake Bay. VIMS professor Kim Reece, a member of Virginia's Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force, explores the human activities and natural factors that encourage microscopic algae to form dense blooms, and the effects that some of these blooms can have on marine life and human health. View online.

Underwater Grasses: Chesapeake Bay's under-appreciated habitat

(August 25, 2011) Underwater grasses play a key role in the ecology of Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Ken Moore explores the life history of these amazing plants, explains current and future threats, and offers tips for what you can do to help seagrasses recover and thrive. Professor Moore is chair of the Biological Sciences Department at VIMS and has more than 30 years of experience in seagrass studies and restoration. View online.

Oyster Aquaculture in the Bay

(July 28, 2011) The traditional means of harvesting Chesapeake Bay’s oysters is undergoing a sea-change, as the industry moves from wild harvest to aquaculture. VIMS professor Stan Allen explores the factors that are fueling this transition, and describes the outlook for oyster aquaculture in the Bay. Allen heads the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center at VIMS, a leader in developing the disease-tolerant strains and grow-out techniques now being adopted by a growing number of Chesapeake Bay watermen. View online (please excuse the audio difficulties during the first few moments of the talk.)

Are blue crabs on the rebound?

(May 12, 2011; postponed from April 28) Recent management actions, including a spawning sanctuary and closure of the century-old winter dredge fishery, appear to be helping Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population rebound toward a healthy, sustainable level after decades of decline. VIMS professor Rom Lipcius explores the science and management actions behind the recent upsurge in blue crab numbers in the Bay. View online.

Blizzards and heat waves and floods, oh my!

(March 31, 2011) 2011 began with heavy snow and frigid temperatures across the eastern U.S. and in Europe, while heavy flooding struck Australia and Brazil. But 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record for global surface temperatures, with searing heat and drought from Moscow to Virginia. NASA climate scientist Bruck Wielicki explains the difference between weather and climate, and how recent weather extremes fit within the broader context of global climate change. View online.

The Census of Marine Life: A decade of discovery

(February 24, 2011) VIMS professor Tracey Sutton describes the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year international effort to assess the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life around the globe.

A “pollution diet” for Chesapeake Bay: fad or fitness?

(January 27, 2011) VIMS professor Carl Hershner explores the issues surrounding the “total maximum daily loads” being developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.