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  • richardmitnick 1:13 pm on November 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists warn over one hundred thousand tonnes of microbes could escape from melting glaciers", , , , , , , Marine Microbiology,   

    From Aberystwyth University [Prifysgol Aberystwyth](WLS) : “Scientists warn over one hundred thousand tonnes of microbes could escape from melting glaciers” 

    From Aberystwyth University [Prifysgol Aberystwyth](WLS)

    11.17.22
    Colin Nosworthy,
    Communications and Public Affairs,
    Aberystwyth University
    ctn1@aber.ac.uk  

    1
    Some of the research team on the western edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    More than a hundred thousand tonnes of microbes, including potentially harmful and beneficial ones, could be released as the world’s glaciers melt, scientists from Aberystwyth University have warned.

    After examining surface meltwaters from eight glaciers across Europe and North America, and two sites in western Greenland, the academics estimate that even with only moderate warming, these microbes will be released to downstream ecosystems.

    Assuming a climate scenario where there is a moderate rise in carbon emissions, the study predicts that more than a hundred thousand tonnes of microbes will be released into the wider environment. That would be equivalent to an average of 0.65 million tonnes per year of cellular carbon, which includes microbes, being delivered into rivers, lakes, fjords and oceans across the northern hemisphere over the next 80 years.

    Estimates suggest that Earth’s glaciers have been losing around a trillion tonnes of ice per year since the early 1990s, mainly driven by further melting of their surfaces.

    Scientists believe the impact of further glacial melting, including the discharge of microbes into downstream environments, may be significant.

    Dr Tristram Irvine-Fynn from Aberystwyth University commented:

    “Melting glacier ice surfaces host active microbial communities that contribute to melting and biogeochemical cycling, and nourish downstream ecosystems; but these communities remain poorly understood. 

    “Over the coming decades, the forecast ‘peak water’ from Earth’s mountain glaciers means we need to improve our understanding of the state and fate of ecosystems on the surface of glaciers. With a better grasp of that picture, we could better predict the effects of climate change on glacial surfaces and catchment biogeochemistry.”

    Dr Arwyn Edwards from Aberystwyth University added:

    “These important findings build on much of our previous research here in Aberystwyth. The number of microbes released depends closely on how quickly the glaciers melt, and therefore how much we continue to warm the planet. But the mass of microbes released is vast even with moderate warming. While these microbes fertilize downstream environments, some of them might be harmful as well.”

    The Aberystwyth academics’ findings were published in the journal Nature Communications Earth & Environment [below] this month.

    The study was led by former Aberystwyth PhD student and associate lecturer, Dr Ian Stevens, who is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University.

    Dr Stevens is working on the Deep Purple project and examining the physical and microbial processes which accelerate melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications Earth & Environment
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Aberystwyth University [Prifysgol Aberystwyth] (WLS) is a public research university in Aberystwyth, Wales. Aberystwyth was a founding member institution of the former federal University of Wales. The university has over 8,000 students studying across 3 academic faculties and 17 departments.

    Founded in 1872 as University College Wales, Aberystwyth, it became a founder member of the University of Wales in 1894, and changed its name to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. In the mid-1990s, the university again changed its name to become the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. On 1 September 2007, the University of Wales ceased to be a federal university and Aberystwyth University became independent again.

    In 2019, it became the first university to be named “University of the year for teaching quality” by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide for two consecutive years. It is the first university in the world to be awarded Plastic Free University status (for single-use plastic items).

    Aberystwyth University is placed in the UK’s top 50 universities in the main national rankings. It is ranked 48th for 132 UK university rankings in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2019 and the first university to be given the prestigious award “University of the year for teaching quality” for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019).

    The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed it in the 301—350 group for 800 university rankings, compared with 351—400 the previous year, and the QS World University Rankings placed it at the 432th position for 2019, compared with 481—490 of the previous year. In 2015, UK employers from “predominantly business, IT and engineering sectors” listed Aberystwyth equal 49th in their 62-place employability rankings for UK graduates, according to a Times Higher Education report.

    Aberystwyth University was rated in the top ten of UK higher education institutions for overall student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS).

    Aberystwyth University was shortlisted in four categories in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) (2015).

    Aberystwyth University has been awarded the Silver Award under the Corporate Health Standard (CHS), the quality mark for workplace health promotion run by Welsh Government.

    The University has been awarded an Athena SWAN Charter Award, recognizing commitment to advancing women’s careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) in higher education and research.

    In 2007 the University came under criticism for its record on sustainability, ranking 97th out of 106 UK higher education institutions in that year’s Green League table. In 2012 the university was listed in the table’s “Failed, no award” section, ranking equal 132nd out of 145. In 2013 it ranked equal 135th out of 143, and was listed again as “Failed, no award”.

    Following the University’s initiatives to address sustainability, it received an EcoCampus Silver Phase award in October 2014.

    In October 2015, the University’s Penglais Campus became the first University campus in Wales to achieve the Green Flag Award. The Green Flag Award is a UK-wide partnership, delivered in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy with support from Natural Resources Wales, and is the mark of a high quality park or green space.

    In 2013, the University and College Union alleged bullying behaviour by Aberystwyth University managers, and said staff were fearful for their jobs. University president Sir Emyr Jones Parry said in a BBC radio interview, “I don’t believe the views set out are representative and I don’t recognise the picture.” He also said, “Due process is rigorously applied in Aberystwyth.” Economist John Cable resigned his emeritus professorship, describing the university’s management as “disproportionate, aggressive and confrontational”. The singer Peter Karrie resigned his honorary fellowship in protest, he said, at the apparent determination to “ruin one of the finest arts centres in the country”, and because he was “unable to support any regime that can treat their staff in such a cruel and appalling manner.”

     
  • richardmitnick 10:15 pm on November 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "From larvae to livelihoods - restoring coral reefs in the Maldives", , , , Corals release their sperm and eggs during coral spawning events. These events usually only happen a few times each year., , Live coral cover declined to as low as 2 per cent average cover., Major coral bleaching in the Maldives has been recorded in 1998; 2016; 2017 and 2020., , Marine Microbiology, Scientists are working with local partners in the Maldives to develop coral restoration methods to assist with reef recovery., Scientists collect the coral spawn and culture it into coral larvae. Then they release the larvae back onto areas of degraded reef where they will help re-establish corals., Scientists rolled out hands-on training to tackle the challenges that locals are facing., The Maldives is made up of 1100 small islands but its coral reefs are under threat from climate change., The Maldives relies on its coral reefs for sustaining local livelihoods., The workshops and training were the first of their kind. They have boosted the local community’s knowledge to implement actions on their islands and atolls to help in reef restoration., Training local partners in methods to help with coral reef recovery.   

    From “CSIROscope” (AU): “From larvae to livelihoods – restoring coral reefs in the Maldives” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From “CSIROscope” (AU)

    At

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

    11.15.22
    Natalie Kikken
    Lauren Hardiman

    1

    We’re working with local partners in the Maldives to develop coral restoration methods to assist with reef recovery.

    Over 1000 small coral islands with white sandy beaches and colourful reefs teeming with marine life. This is what makes up the idyllic nation of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

    But the Maldives is under threat from climate change. Over the last decade, increased sea surface temperatures have resulted in major coral bleaching events.

    We’ve been working with local partners to develop coral restoration methods to assist with reef recovery.

    A team effort to help coral recovery

    2
    We worked together with the Maldives Marine Research Institution to train local partners in methods to help with coral reef recovery. Here the team is preparing settlement tiles to resettle coral larvae back onto the reef.

    Major coral bleaching in the Maldives has been recorded in 1998, 2016, 2017 and 2020. Live coral cover declined to as low as 2 per cent average cover. So, they need solutions to help with coral recovery.

    Our researchers recently traveled to the Maldives to help implement solutions. We used our experience with the Great Barrier Reef to implement tried and tested methods.

    So, how do you help reefs recover from major disturbance events? Much like us humans and other members of the animal kingdom, it starts with a sperm and an egg.

    Spawning new research and knowledge

    3
    Training included lab-based sessions to identify coral identification and when a coral is ready to spawn.

    Corals release their sperm and eggs during coral spawning events. These events usually only happen a few times each year.

    We collect the coral spawn and culture it into coral larvae. Then, we release the larvae back onto areas of degraded reef where it will help re-establish corals.

    Before we release the larvae, they are settled onto tiles. We can also release the larvae directly onto the reef. But settling on tiles can help reduce losses of larvae. It also enables early detection of the tiny coral settlers, as they are less than 1 millimetre in size.

    On the other hand, direct release of larvae (without the use of tiles) requires less handling and can be more easily scaled up. Both methods help to re-establish populations of coral reefs impacted by disturbances, to aid in long term recovery.

    Future proofing the Maldives reefs

    4
    The Maldives is made up of 1100 small islands but its coral reefs are under threat from climate change.

    Initially, our researchers delivered the training through a series of online workshops. The interactive sessions included making coral spawn catcher nets from recycled materials such as plastic bottles. Participants were from government, environmental consulting, tourism and education sectors.

    In addition to the online workshops, we rolled out hands-on training to tackle the challenges that locals are facing. 

    We visited the remote island of Omadhoo to deliver a range of field and lab-based sessions. This included determining when corals are ready to spawn, coral identification and larval culturing. 

    The team documented when the corals spawned and the precise locations. This information is vital in developing a better understanding of coral reproduction on local reefs in the Maldives. 

    The training also used resources from the island. A facility normally used for fish aquaculture was repurposed to culture coral larvae before it could be settled onto the reef.

    Like many countries in the region, the Maldives relies on its coral reefs for sustaining local livelihoods. Its reefs are critical for coastal protection, as they reduce impacts from waves and storms which cause erosion. And they are also important for economic prosperity. The Maldives depends on the reefs for tourism, with the sector employing 58 per cent of the population. Also, 98 per cent of exports come from reef-associated fisheries. 

    The workshops and training were the first of its kind. They have boosted the local community’s knowledge to implement actions on their islands and atolls to help in reef restoration. This aims to improve the prosperity of the Maldives and help build resilience in a changing climate. 

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO (AU)-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization , is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

    CSIRO works with leading organizations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

    Federally funded scientific research began in Australia 104 years ago. The Advisory Council of Science and Industry was established in 1916 but was hampered by insufficient available finance. In 1926 the research effort was reinvigorated by establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which strengthened national science leadership and increased research funding. CSIR grew rapidly and achieved significant early successes. In 1949 further legislated changes included renaming the organization as CSIRO.

    Notable developments by CSIRO have included the invention of atomic absorption spectroscopy; essential components of Wi-Fi technology; development of the first commercially successful polymer banknote; the invention of the insect repellent in Aerogard and the introduction of a series of biological controls into Australia, such as the introduction of myxomatosis and rabbit calicivirus for the control of rabbit populations.

    Research and focus areas

    Research Business Units

    As at 2019, CSIRO’s research areas are identified as “Impact science” and organized into the following Business Units:

    Agriculture and Food
    Health and Biosecurity
    Data 61
    Energy
    Land and Water
    Manufacturing
    Mineral Resources
    Oceans and Atmosphere

    National Facilities

    CSIRO manages national research facilities and scientific infrastructure on behalf of the nation to assist with the delivery of research. The national facilities and specialized laboratories are available to both international and Australian users from industry and research. As at 2019, the following National Facilities are listed:

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Radio Telescope Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    STCA CSIRO Australia Compact Array (AU), six radio telescopes at the Paul Wild Observatory, is an array of six 22-m antennas located about twenty five kilometres (16 mi) west of the town of Narrabri in Australia.

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (AU) Parkes Observatory [Murriyang, the traditional Indigenous name], located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia, 414.80m above sea level.

    NASA Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, AU, Deep Space Network. Credit: The National Aeronautics and Space Agency

    CSIRO Canberra campus

    ESA DSA 1, hosts a 35-metre deep-space antenna with transmission and reception in both S- and X-band and is located 140 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia, near the town of New Norcia

    CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (AU)CSIRO R/V Investigator.

    UK Space NovaSAR-1 satellite (UK) synthetic aperture radar satellite.

    CSIRO Pawsey Supercomputing Centre AU)

    Magnus Cray XC40 supercomputer at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Galaxy Cray XC30 Series Supercomputer at at Pawsey Supercomputer Centre Perth Australia

    Pausey Supercomputer CSIRO Zeus SGI Linux cluster

    Others not shown

    SKA

    SKA- Square Kilometer Array

    Australia Telescope National Facility – radio telescopes included in the Facility include the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Parkes Observatory, Mopra Radio Telescope Observatory and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

    SKA Square Kilometre Array low frequency at the Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

    EDGES telescope in a radio quiet zone at the Inyarrimanha Ilgari Bundara Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia, on the traditional lands of the Wajarri peoples.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:55 am on November 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Bottom of the Arctic Is Blooming", , , , , , Every year in the spring the Arctic Ocean blooms. Instead of with flowers surface waters are inundated with microscopic algae., , Marine Microbiology, Phytoplankton Thrive in the Warming Ocean, Researchers found phytoplankton hidden on the Arctic seafloor hinting at a cascade of effects on the local ecology and the carbon cycle.   

    From “Eos” : “The Bottom of the Arctic Is Blooming” 

    Eos news bloc

    From “Eos”

    AT

    AGU

    11.14.22
    Fanni Daniella Szakal (@FanniDaniella),
    Science Writer

    Researchers found phytoplankton hidden on the Arctic seafloor hinting at a cascade of effects on the local ecology and the carbon cycle.

    1
    Researchers made an unexpected discovery in the Arctic Ocean—seemingly blooming communities of plankton near the seafloor. © ArCS/JAMSTEC.

    Every year in the spring the Arctic Ocean blooms. Instead of with flowers surface waters are inundated with microscopic algae. After the bloom has exhausted the nutrients on the surface, these plankton sink to the seafloor and, without light, die or remain in a stable state.

    At least, that was what we thought. A new study in Global Change Biology [below], however, uncovered that in the summer, phytoplankton could bloom at the bottom of the Arctic.

    In the summer of 2016, Takuhei Shiozaki, coauthor of the study and a researcher at the University of Tokyo, was on board a scientific cruise conducting investigations in the Arctic. While taking routine samples and measurements in the Chukchi Sea, Shiozaki and his colleagues found that instead of being in a stable state with low productivity, algae in water samples from the seafloor showed high primary production, indicating a bloom.

    Phytoplankton Thrive in the Warming Ocean

    The effects of climate change are especially severe in the Arctic, causing the region to warm at a rate nearly 4 times as fast as the rest of the planet. Many marine areas that used to be covered by ice year-round are now ice-free in the summer. Shiozaki and his team speculated that this lack of ice, coupled with seasonally transparent water and increases in the amount of solar radiation absorbed (irradiance), allows sunlight to reach the bottom of the ocean in shallow areas, triggering phytoplankton blooms.

    To support their hypothesis, the research team returned to the Chukchi Sea to take more samples. They also conducted a lab experiment, re-creating seafloor temperature and light conditions, and incubating sediment samples for 24 days with seawater filtered for organisms. Microscopic algae bloomed in the samples, even when irradiance was only 1% of what is normally found on the surface.

    Lars Chresten Lund-Hansen, a researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark, was surprised by the results and hopes to have more proof of algal blooms. “Instead of doing experiments with the sediment, it would be great if they could somehow conduct an experiment in situ to make sure that these algae are really alive,” he said.

    A Cascade of Implications

    If there is indeed primary production going on at the bottom of the ocean, the implications could be far-reaching. As phytoplankton form the basis of the food web in the Arctic, bottom blooms could alter the ecosystem—according to authors of the 2020 Arctic Report Card, for example, previously documented algal blooms indirectly contributed to increases in bowhead whale populations. The hidden blooms could also have an impact on the carbon cycle, as phytoplankton remove carbon from the environment during photosynthesis.

    “Investigations of the carbon sequestration capacity of the Arctic Ocean have focused on surface processes,” said Shiozaki. “However, assuming that carbon is actively fixed by phytoplankton in the subsurface, this process should be taken into account.”

    The first step to greater understanding of the diatoms is an accurate estimation of how widespread the hidden blooms may be. To reach such an estimation, scientists modeled the irradiance at the seafloor based on satellite data from the Arctic shelf region, where many areas are shallow enough to support blooms. The models showed that bottom blooms could theoretically occur in almost a quarter of the region.

    The research team hopes to get a more precise understanding of the actual distribution and impact of the blooms by extending field observations into additional shelf areas, as well as by collaborating with ecosystem modelers.

    “We still don’t know the total production and the amount of phytoplankton ‘seed’ on the seafloor that [could] be the origin of a bottom-associated bloom,” said Shiozaki. “It is important to estimate this to understand the impact on the biogeochemical cycles and the ecosystem.”

    Science paper:
    Global Change Biology

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    “Eos” is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:37 pm on November 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study finds ocean microbes get their diet through a surprising mix of sources", “Prochlorococcus” grows through photosynthesis using sunlight to convert the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide into organic carbon molecules., , , , Marine Microbiology, Microbes arte a significant force in capturing and “fixing” carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean., Most marine plankton are mixotrophs., Organisms that use a mix of strategies to provide carbon are known as mixotrophs., , , Up to one-third of the carbon consumed by "Prochlorococcus" may come from sources other than photosynthesis.   

    From The Department of Earth-Atmosphere-and Planetary Sciences And Civil and Environmental Engineering At The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Study finds ocean microbes get their diet through a surprising mix of sources” 

    1

    From The Department of Earth-Atmosphere-and Planetary Sciences

    And

    2

    Civil and Environmental Engineering

    At

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    11.3.22
    Jennifer Chu

    Up to one-third of the carbon consumed by Prochlorococcus may come from sources other than photosynthesis.

    1
    Long thought to rely solely on photosynthesis, the microbe Prochlorococcus may get as much as one-third of its carbon through a second strategy: consuming the dissolved remains of other dead microbes. Image: Jose-Luis Olivares, MIT.

    One of the smallest and mightiest organisms on the planet is a plant-like bacterium known to marine biologists as Prochlorococcus. The green-tinted microbe measures less than a micron across, and its populations suffuse through the upper layers of the ocean, where a single teaspoon of seawater can hold millions of the tiny organisms.

    Prochlorococcus grows through photosynthesis, using sunlight to convert the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide into organic carbon molecules. The microbe is responsible for 5 percent of the world’s photosynthesizing activity, and scientists have assumed that photosynthesis is the microbe’s go-to strategy for acquiring the carbon it needs to grow.

    But a new MIT study in Nature Microbiology [below] today has found that Prochlorococcus relies on another carbon-feeding strategy, more than previously thought.

    Organisms that use a mix of strategies to provide carbon are known as mixotrophs. Most marine plankton are mixotrophs. And while Prochlorococcus is known to occasionally dabble in mixotrophy, scientists have assumed the microbe primarily lives a phototrophic lifestyle.

    The new MIT study shows that in fact, Prochlorococcus may be more of a mixotroph than it lets on. The microbe may get as much as one-third of its carbon through a second strategy: consuming the dissolved remains of other dead microbes.

    The new estimate may have implications for climate models, as the microbe is a significant force in capturing and “fixing” carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean.

    “If we wish to predict what will happen to carbon fixation in a different climate, or predict where Prochlorococcus will or will not live in the future, we probably won’t get it right if we’re missing a process that accounts for one-third of the population’s carbon supply,” says Mick Follows, a professor in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), and its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

    The study’s co-authors include first author and MIT postdoc Zhen Wu, along with collaborators from the University of Haifa, the Leibniz-Institute for Baltic Sea Research, the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, and Potsdam University.

    Persistent plankton

    Since Prochlorococcus was first discovered in the Sargasso Sea in 1986, by MIT Institute Professor Sallie “Penny” Chisholm and others, the microbe has been observed throughout the world’s oceans, inhabiting the upper sunlit layers ranging from the surface down to about 160 meters. Within this range, light levels vary, and the microbe has evolved a number of ways to photosynthesize carbon in even low-lit regions.

    The organism has also evolved ways to consume organic compounds including glucose and certain amino acids, which could help the microbe survive for limited periods of time in dark ocean regions. But surviving on organic compounds alone is a bit like only eating junk food, and there is evidence that Prochlorococcus will die after a week in regions where photosynthesis is not an option.

    And yet, researchers including Daniel Sher of the University of Haifa, who is a co-author of the new study, have observed healthy populations of Prochlorococcus that persist deep in the sunlit zone, where the light intensity should be too low to maintain a population. This suggests that the microbes must be switching to a non-photosynthesizing, mixotrophic lifestyle in order to consume other organic sources of carbon.

    “It seems that at least some Prochlorococcus are using existing organic carbon in a mixotrophic way,” Follows says. “That stimulated the question: How much?”

    What light cannot explain

    In their new paper, Follows, Wu, Sher, and their colleagues looked to quantify the amount of carbon that Prochlorococcus is consuming through processes other than photosynthesis.

    The team looked first to measurements taken by Sher’s team, which previously took ocean samples at various depths in the Mediterranean Sea and measured the concentration of phytoplankton, including Prochlorococcus, along with the associated intensity of light and the concentration of nitrogen — an essential nutrient that is richly available in deeper layers of the ocean and that plankton can assimilate to make proteins.

    Wu and Follows used this data, and similar information from the Pacific Ocean, along with previous work from Chisholm’s lab, which established the rate of photosynthesis that Prochlorococcus could carry out in a given intensity of light.

    “We converted that light intensity profile into a potential growth rate — how fast the population of Prochlorococcus could grow if it was acquiring all it’s carbon by photosynthesis, and light is the limiting factor,” Follows explains.

    The team then compared this calculated rate to growth rates that were previously observed in the Pacific Ocean by several other research teams.

    “This data showed that, below a certain depth, there’s a lot of growth happening that photosynthesis simply cannot explain,” Follows says. “Some other process must be at work to make up the difference in carbon supply.”

    The researchers inferred that, in deeper, darker regions of the ocean, Prochlorococcus populations are able to survive and thrive by resorting to mixotrophy, including consuming organic carbon from detritus. Specifically, the microbe may be carrying out osmotrophy — a process by which an organism passively absorbs organic carbon molecules via osmosis.

    Judging by how fast the microbe is estimated to be growing below the sunlit zone, the team calculates that Prochlorococcus obtains up to one-third of its carbon diet through mixotrophic strategies.

    “It’s kind of like going from a specialist to a generalist lifestyle,” Follows says. “If I only eat pizza, then if I’m 20 miles from a pizza place, I’m in trouble, whereas if I eat burgers as well, I could go to the nearby McDonald’s. People had thought of Prochlorococcus as a specialist, where they do this one thing (photosynthesis) really well. But it turns out they may have more of a generalist lifestyle than we previously thought.”

    Chisholm, who has both literally and figuratively written the book on Prochlorococcus, says the group’s findings “expand the range of conditions under which their populations can not only survive, but also thrive. This study changes the way we think about the role of Prochlorococcus in the microbial food web.”

    This research was supported, in part, by the Israel Science Foundation, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the Simons Foundation.

    Science paper:
    Nature Microbiology
    See the science paper for detailed material with images.

    See the full article here.


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Our Mission

    In The MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, we are driven by a simple truth: we only have one Earth to call home. Our intellectual focus is on the human-built environment and the complex infrastructure systems that it entails, as well as the man-made effect on the natural world. We seek to foster an inclusive community that pushes the boundaries of what is possible to shape the future of civil and environmental engineering. Our goal is to educate and train the next generation of researchers and engineers, driven by a passion to positively impact our society, economy, and our planet.

    Our faculty and students work in tandem to develop and apply pioneering approaches that range from basic scientific principles to complex engineering design, with a focus on translating fundamental advances to real-world impact. We offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the broad areas of infrastructure and environment, in order to advance the frontiers of knowledge for a sustainable civilization.

    Our Vision

    Bold solutions for sustainability across scales.

    MIT CEE is creating a new era of sustainable and resilient infrastructure and systems from the nanoscale to the global scale.

    We are pioneering a bold transformation of civil and environmental engineering as a field, fostering collaboration across disciplines to drive meaningful change. Our research and educational programs challenge the status quo, advance the frontier of knowledge and expand the limit of what is possible.

    The Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) is the place at MIT where the turbulent oceans and atmosphere, the inaccessible depths of the inner Earth, distant planets, and the origins of life all come together under one intellectual roof.

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.


    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (US), the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory (US), as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts-Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980’s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980 ’s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980 ’s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation.

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:47 pm on October 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study concludes: not enough - Protecting algae-eating fish insufficient to save imperiled coral reefs", A new study that analyzed long-term data from 57 coral reefs around the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea challenges this canon of coral reef ecology., , How can we boost the resilience of the world’s coral reefs which are imperiled by multiple stresses including mass bleaching events linked to climate warming?, It makes more sense to support strategies that promote the conservation of diverse habitats and coral reef types at various stages of degradation., , , Marine Microbiology, Millions of people depend on coral-reef fisheries for food and income., One strategy advocated by some researchers resource managers and conservationists is to restore populations of algae-eating reef fish such as parrotfish., Protecting the fish that keep algae in check leads to healthier corals and can promote the recovery of distressed reefs according to this idea which is known as fish-mediated resilience., , We should consider management efforts that promote sustainable harvest throughout the food web to disperse the impacts of fishing.   

    From The University of Michigan: “Study concludes: not enough – Protecting algae-eating fish insufficient to save imperiled coral reefs” 

    U Michigan bloc

    From The University of Michigan

    10.3.22 [Just today in social media]
    Jim Erickson
    734-647-1842
    ericksn@umich.edu

    1
    Bright blue Chromis fish on acropora coral at a back reef on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    How can we boost the resilience of the world’s coral reefs, which are imperiled by multiple stresses including mass bleaching events linked to climate warming?

    One strategy advocated by some researchers, resource managers and conservationists is to restore populations of algae-eating reef fish, such as parrotfish. Protecting the fish that keep algae in check leads to healthier corals and can promote the recovery of distressed reefs, according to this idea, which is known as fish-mediated resilience.

    But a new study that analyzed long-term data from 57 coral reefs around the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea challenges this canon of coral reef ecology.

    The study, published online Oct. 3 in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution [below], provides compelling new evidence that fish don’t regulate coral over time, according to University of Michigan marine ecologist and study co-senior author Jacob Allgeier.

    2
    Jacob Allgeier

    The other author is former U-M postdoctoral researcher Timothy Cline.

    “This paper very well might radically change how we think about the conservation of coral reefs,” said Allgeier, assistant professor in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

    “People have been saying for years that we can protect coral through fisheries management, and our work on Mo’orea reefs shows that this is unlikely to work—there are too many other things going on. There is functionally no measurable effect of fishes on coral cover over time.”

    Support for the idea of fish-mediated coral reef resilience has led to calls for moratoriums on fishing for algae-eating reef fish to prevent algae overgrowth and reef degradation. Such well-intentioned but misguided management strategies could have huge implications for the millions of people who depend on coral-reef fisheries for food and income, according to the authors of the new study.

    Instead, it makes more sense to support strategies that promote the conservation of diverse habitats and coral reef types at various stages of degradation, the researchers said.

    “We do need to manage fisheries in these ecosystems, but instead of things like wholesale restrictions on parrotfish, we should consider management efforts that promote sustainable harvest throughout the food web to disperse the impacts of fishing,” Allgeier said.

    3
    Shallow forereef locations off the northern shore of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    4
    Forereef locations off the northern shore of the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    5
    Turbinaria algae coat the corals, foreground, at a north shore reef on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Turbinaria is a genus of brown algae found primarily in tropical marine waters. Yellow-and-black convict tangs, an algae-eating fish, are in the background. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    6
    A relatively healthy backreef location locally on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse and productive ecosystems on the planet, but they are also among the most imperiled and rapidly changing.

    Threats to coral reefs include predatory species, nutrient pollution, ocean acidification, overfishing, sedimentation and coral bleaching, which is caused by sustained, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures. As the climate warms, mass bleaching events are lasting longer, becoming more frequent, and are affecting reefs that are completely protected from all human impacts other than climate change, Allgeier said.

    The new study involves a series of statistical analyses of coral reef data collected between 2006 and 2017 by two long-term monitoring projects: the Mo’orea Coral Reef Ecosystem LTER (funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation) and the Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (funded by the French government).

    The Mo’orea coral reef datasets contain some of the longest continuous observations of fish populations and algae growth on coral reefs.

    7
    School of striped convict tangs on a relatively healthy backreef on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Image credit: Kelly Speare.

    Macroalgae, commonly known as seaweed, compete with corals for seafloor space and can smother them if they grow too dense. If corals are weakened by a bleaching event or some other disturbance, macroalgae often move in and displace them.

    During the 2006-17 data-collection period analyzed in the study, Mo’orea coral reefs were significantly impacted by two major disturbances: an outbreak of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish and a direct hit from Cyclone Oli in winter 2010.

    The two events allowed Allgeier and Cline to study the degradation and subsequent recovery of the Mo’orea reefs and to assess the factors that contributed to the recovery. They used mathematical models to test the hypothesis that the rate at which corals recovered correlated with various attributes of the fish community, including species diversity, biomass and richness.

    “We found no evidence that the substantial variation in fish community biomass and diversity had any influence on how sites recovered from disturbances,” Cline said. “Instead, we suggest additional location-specific attributes are critical in recovery, and the fish community is just one component of a suite of variables that must be considered.”

    Support for the study was provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

    Science paper:
    Nature Ecology & Evolution

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please support STEM education in your local school system

    Stem Education Coalition

    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States, the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

    At over $12.4 billion in 2019, Michigan’s endowment is among the largest of any university. As of October 2019, 53 MacArthur “genius award” winners (29 alumni winners and 24 faculty winners), 26 Nobel Prize winners, six Turing Award winners, one Fields Medalist and one Mitchell Scholar have been affiliated with the university. Its alumni include eight heads of state or government, including President of the United States Gerald Ford; 38 cabinet-level officials; and 26 living billionaires. It also has many alumni who are Fulbright Scholars and MacArthur Fellows.

    Research

    Michigan is one of the founding members (in the year 1900) of the Association of American Universities. With over 6,200 faculty members, 73 of whom are members of the National Academy and 471 of whom hold an endowed chair in their discipline, the university manages one of the largest annual collegiate research budgets of any university in the United States. According to the National Science Foundation, Michigan spent $1.6 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 2nd in the nation. This figure totaled over $1 billion in 2009. The Medical School spent the most at over $445 million, while the College of Engineering was second at more than $160 million. U-M also has a technology transfer office, which is the university conduit between laboratory research and corporate commercialization interests.

    In 2009, the university signed an agreement to purchase a facility formerly owned by Pfizer. The acquisition includes over 170 acres (0.69 km^2) of property, and 30 major buildings comprising roughly 1,600,000 square feet (150,000 m^2) of wet laboratory space, and 400,000 square feet (37,000 m^2) of administrative space. At the time of the agreement, the university’s intentions for the space were not set, but the expectation was that the new space would allow the university to ramp up its research and ultimately employ in excess of 2,000 people.

    The university is also a major contributor to the medical field with the EKG and the gastroscope. The university’s 13,000-acre (53 km^2) biological station in the Northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan is one of only 47 Biosphere Reserves in the United States.

    In the mid-1960s U-M researchers worked with IBM to develop a new virtual memory architectural model that became part of IBM’s Model 360/67 mainframe computer (the 360/67 was initially dubbed the 360/65M where the “M” stood for Michigan). The Michigan Terminal System (MTS), an early time-sharing computer operating system developed at U-M, was the first system outside of IBM to use the 360/67’s virtual memory features.

    U-M is home to the National Election Studies and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. The Correlates of War project, also located at U-M, is an accumulation of scientific knowledge about war. The university is also home to major research centers in optics, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, wireless integrated microsystems, and social sciences. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Life Sciences Institute are located at the university. The Institute for Social Research (ISR), the nation’s longest-standing laboratory for interdisciplinary research in the social sciences, is home to the Survey Research Center, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Center for Political Studies, Population Studies Center, and Inter-Consortium for Political and Social Research. Undergraduate students are able to participate in various research projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) as well as the UROP/Creative-Programs.

    The U-M library system comprises nineteen individual libraries with twenty-four separate collections—roughly 13.3 million volumes. U-M was the original home of the JSTOR database, which contains about 750,000 digitized pages from the entire pre-1990 backfile of ten journals of history and economics, and has initiated a book digitization program in collaboration with Google. The University of Michigan Press is also a part of the U-M library system.

    In the late 1960s U-M, together with Michigan State University and Wayne State University, founded the Merit Network, one of the first university computer networks. The Merit Network was then and remains today administratively hosted by U-M. Another major contribution took place in 1987 when a proposal submitted by the Merit Network together with its partners IBM, MCI, and the State of Michigan won a national competition to upgrade and expand the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) backbone from 56,000 to 1.5 million, and later to 45 million bits per second. In 2006, U-M joined with Michigan State University and Wayne State University to create the the University Research Corridor. This effort was undertaken to highlight the capabilities of the state’s three leading research institutions and drive the transformation of Michigan’s economy. The three universities are electronically interconnected via the Michigan LambdaRail (MiLR, pronounced ‘MY-lar’), a high-speed data network providing 10 Gbit/s connections between the three university campuses and other national and international network connection points in Chicago.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:03 am on October 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Another $204m promised for the Great Barrier Reef - but is it money well spent?", Although the extra funding is great news for the GBR itself the experts suggest that it ignores the vast number of other reef ecosystems in Australia that are desperately in need., , , , Coral bleaching events, , , GSR brings in more money for Australia annually through tourism and fisheries yet receives substantially less funding in general than the GBR., , Marine Microbiology, , There has been a greater than 90 per cent loss of Giant Kelp from Tasmania in the last few decades., There is concern about seaweed and kelp forests from the Great Southern Reef (GSR).   

    From The Australian Science Media Centre (AU) : “Another $204m promised for the Great Barrier Reef – but is it money well spent?” 

    From The Australian Science Media Centre (AU)

    10.21.22
    Steven Mew

    Australia’s Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has announced the Government will commit an additional $204 million to protect, manage and restore the Great Barrier Reef, bringing the total spend on the reef to $1.2 billion.

    1
    Great Barrier Reef. Credit: NatGeo.

    According to Plibersek, $20 million will be dedicated to assist corals to evolve more quickly and adapt to their changing environment, as well as supporting the natural restoration of damaged and degraded reefs, and a grant of $15.3 million will be provided to set up the new Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre at the Central Queensland University in Gladstone.

    But, while saving the GBR is an exceptionally important mission, is this allocation of money and resources the best way to go? Speaking in an AusSMC Expert Reaction, some Aussie experts suggest that it might not be.

    Dr Zoe Richards from Curtin University told the AusSMC that although more funding for the GBR is welcome, spending money to help re-engineer wildlife is not an appropriate response to the climate crisis.

    “Modern corals, for example, have evolved from ancient lineages dating back over 500 million years. They have an incredible ability to evolve and adapt, however, they can only do that if the rate of environmental change, including the level of carbon accumulation in the atmosphere is dramatically slowed down.”

    According to Dr Richards, the funds could be better spent helping companies, businesses, and the general public transition away from reliance on oil and gas as a means of saving the GBR from climate change.

    It is already well established that climate change is causing ocean warming and ocean acidification which is increasing coral bleaching events and affecting the distribution of species on the reef.

    The Australian Institute of Marine Science even recorded the first-ever mass coral bleaching event during a La Niña year on the reef in the summer of 2021/22 in their Annual Summary Report of Coral Reef Condition. Undoubtedly then, reducing climate change would have a big impact on the reef and every other Australian ecosystem besides.

    So although the extra funding is great news for the GBR itself, the experts suggest that it ignores the vast number of other reef ecosystems in Australia that are desperately in need. As Dr Alexandra Campbell from the University of the Sunshine Coast puts it, “By funding this one ecosystem in particular, we are ignoring the remainder of Australia’s vast marine estate”.

    Dr Campbell is particularly concerned about seaweed and kelp forests from the Great Southern Reef (GSR), which starts at the GBR and continues all the way around the southern half of Australia to a similar latitude in West Australia.

    According to Dr Campbell, the GSR brings in more money for Australia annually through tourism and fisheries yet receives substantially less funding in general than the GBR.

    “We have seen a greater than 90 per cent loss of Giant Kelp from Tasmania in the last few decades, and many other species, including Golden Kelp, are likely to retract by more than 70 per cent across Australia by 2100.”

    “Losing those is just as scary but these declines are seeing a lot less attention and funding”.

    As Dr Campbell said, “Funding innovative adaptation science to help reefs recover is also important but arguably pointless if we don’t do anything about the main cause”.

    You can read the full AusSMC Expert Reaction here.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC)(AU) works to enhance the media’s coverage of science, for the benefit of all Australians. We provide the evidence and experts when science hits the headlines and administer the breaking science news portal for Australia and New Zealand – http://www.Scimex.org. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, financial support is crucial to ensure this important work can continue. For a full list of current supporters visit our website.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:38 am on October 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study Examines the Impact of Coral Chemical Compounds on Reef Composition and Health", , Caffeine is a common metabolite produced by land plants generally to deter herbivores and pathogenic microbes., , , , Marine Microbiology, Organic chemical compounds produced through metabolism —known as metabolites or exudates—vary significantly by coral species., , Researchers stumble upon an Invasive reef alga releasing caffeine., Scientists need to pay more attention to how changes in reef structure and species composition might influence the microbes that live on the reef., The compounds impact the abundances and compositions of reef microorganisms differently.,   

    From The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: “Study Examines the Impact of Coral Chemical Compounds on Reef Composition and Health” 

    From The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

    10.17.22
    Laura Weber
    Melissa Kido Soule
    Krista Longnecker
    Cynthia C. Becker
    Naomi Huntley
    Elizabeth B. Kujawinski
    Amy Apprill

    1
    Invasive crustose coralline algae (yellow/brown color) that has overgrown reef corals in the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John. A WHOI-led study found this alga released caffeine in high quantities, impacting healthy reef growth. Image credit: Cynthia Becker © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    Researchers Also Stumble Upon an Invasive Reef Alga Releasing Caffeine.

    Stumbling upon a new source of underwater caffeine was just an added bonus of a new study examining the impact of chemical compounds that corals release into the seawater.

    The study found that the organic chemical compounds produced through metabolism —known as metabolites or exudates—vary significantly by coral species and that the compounds impact the abundances and compositions of reef microorganisms differently.

    This differential release of metabolites from benthic reef organisms is particularly significant in the Caribbean where coral dominance is shifting from hard stony corals to soft octocorals in response to human-caused stressors such as eutrophication, overfishing, and global climate change.

    The study “demonstrates the importance of benthic exudates for structuring microbial communities on oligotrophic reefs by focusing on the exudates released from abundant stony corals, octocorals, and an invasive alga,” according to the paper led by authors from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, published in ISME Communications [below].

    “We wanted to know what are the molecules that coral organisms release into the environment, and how do those molecules impact the reef microbes in the seawater surrounding the corals,” said lead author Laura Weber, a former postdoc and current information systems associate in WHOI’s Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department.

    “As the species composition of these reefs shifts, it is likely changing the chemicals that are released on the reef that then will have impacts on the microbial community,” Weber said. “We need to pay more attention to how changes in reef structure and species composition might influence the microbes that live on the reef, leading to more feedbacks in terms of reef health.” She said that understanding microbes on reefs, how they are functioning, and how they might be contributing to the health of corals and of reefs themselves is “pretty much an untapped area to explore.”

    2
    Organism incubations. For each experiment, researchers placed specimens (coral colonies or algal fragments) in 6 of the 9 bins filled with filtered seawater and collected their dissolved exudates after 8 hours. Bins were placed in a sea water table that was plumbed with ambient reef seawater to control water temperature Special aquarium lights were used to supply photosynthetic algal symbionts with light. Image credit: Amy Apprill © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    Here’s the caffeine connection.

    For the study, researchers collected exudates from six species of Caribbean benthic organisms in a lab setting, using organisms obtained from within the Virgin Islands National Park, including stony corals, octocorals, and an invasive encrusting alga called Ramicrusta textilis. The researchers surprisingly found that R. textilis released caffeine in high quantities.

    Their results further “demonstrate that exudates from benthic organisms contribute to the complex pool of extracellular metabolites in reef seawater and that exudate composition varies significantly by species,” according to the study

    As to why R. textilis produces caffeine, the study notes that caffeine production has not been widely investigated for marine organisms, but that it is a common metabolite produced by land plants generally to deter herbivores and pathogenic microbes. These characteristics “could contribute to the ability of R. textilis to invade and flourish on Caribbean reefs,” according to the report. “Given the growing prevalence of Ramicrusta on diverse Caribbean reefs, follow-up research examining the ecological significance of its metabolites on microbes and other reef organisms is needed.

    This study “is an important step forward in identifying chemical signals that can help scientists assess reef health,” said Elizabeth Kujawinski, co-author of the paper. “Similar to human health diagnostics, the chemical signals within a reef ecosystem are intimately linked to the functions of the symbiotic relationships within reefs.” Kujawinski is a senior scientist in WHOI’s Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department and director of the Center for Chemical Currencies of a Microbial Planet (C-CoMP), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center that is based at WHOI.

    Co-author Amy Apprill, associate scientist in WHOI’s Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry Department, said an important implication of the research is that a diverse benthic community helps to contribute to a more varied metabolite pool and likely supports a more diverse microbial community.

    “We are trying to build kind of a library of what microbes and metabolites are present on reefs. My dream is to be able to go out to a reef, take a bucket of reef water, screen it for microbes and metabolites, and be able to tell something about the health of that ecosystem,” Apprill said. “This is so important to do because the current methods to monitor reefs are highly visual-based, and it can take months or years to determine if coral is sick or growing. Metabolites and microbes have the potential to be really sensitive sensors for reef health.”

    This research was conducted with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.

    Science paper:
    ISME Communications

    See the full article here .

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    Mission Statement

    The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the ocean and its connection with the Earth system through a sustained commitment to excellence in science, engineering, and education, and to the application of this knowledge to problems facing society.

    Vision & Mission

    The ocean is a defining feature of our planet and crucial to life on Earth, yet it remains one of the planet’s last unexplored frontiers. For this reason, WHOI scientists and engineers are committed to understanding all facets of the ocean as well as its complex connections with Earth’s atmosphere, land, ice, seafloor, and life—including humanity. This is essential not only to advance knowledge about our planet, but also to ensure society’s long-term welfare and to help guide human stewardship of the environment. WHOI researchers are also dedicated to training future generations of ocean science leaders, to providing unbiased information that informs public policy and decision-making, and to expanding public awareness about the importance of the global ocean and its resources.

    The Institution is organized into six departments, the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Ocean Research, and a marine policy center. Its shore-based facilities are located in the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts and a mile and a half away on the Quissett Campus. The bulk of the Institution’s funding comes from grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation and other government agencies, augmented by foundations and private donations.

    WHOI scientists, engineers, and students collaborate to develop theories, test ideas, build seagoing instruments, and collect data in diverse marine environments. Ships operated by WHOI carry research scientists throughout the world’s oceans. The WHOI fleet includes two large research vessels (R/V Atlantis and R/V Neil Armstrong); the coastal craft Tioga; small research craft such as the dive-operation work boat Echo; the deep-diving human-occupied submersible Alvin; the tethered, remotely operated vehicle Jason/Medea; and autonomous underwater vehicles such as the REMUS and SeaBED.
    WHOI offers graduate and post-doctoral studies in marine science. There are several fellowship and training programs, and graduate degrees are awarded through a joint program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. WHOI is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges . WHOI also offers public outreach programs and informal education through its Exhibit Center and summer tours. The Institution has a volunteer program and a membership program, WHOI Associate.

    On October 1, 2020, Peter B. de Menocal became the institution’s eleventh president and director.

    History

    In 1927, a National Academy of Sciences committee concluded that it was time to “consider the share of the United States of America in a worldwide program of oceanographic research.” The committee’s recommendation for establishing a permanent independent research laboratory on the East Coast to “prosecute oceanography in all its branches” led to the founding in 1930 of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    A $2.5 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation supported the summer work of a dozen scientists, construction of a laboratory building and commissioning of a research vessel, the 142-foot (43 m) ketch R/V Atlantis, whose profile still forms the Institution’s logo.

    WHOI grew substantially to support significant defense-related research during World War II, and later began a steady growth in staff, research fleet, and scientific stature. From 1950 to 1956, the director was Dr. Edward “Iceberg” Smith, an Arctic explorer, oceanographer and retired Coast Guard rear admiral.

    In 1977 the institution appointed the influential oceanographer John Steele as director, and he served until his retirement in 1989.

    On 1 September 1985, a joint French-American expedition led by Jean-Louis Michel of IFREMER and Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution identified the location of the wreck of the RMS Titanic which sank off the coast of Newfoundland 15 April 1912.

    On 3 April 2011, within a week of resuming of the search operation for Air France Flight 447, a team led by WHOI, operating full ocean depth autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) owned by the Waitt Institute discovered, by means of sidescan sonar, a large portion of debris field from flight AF447.

    In March 2017 the institution effected an open-access policy to make its research publicly accessible online.

    The Institution has maintained a long and controversial business collaboration with the treasure hunter company Odyssey Marine. Likewise, WHOI has participated in the location of the San José galleon in Colombia for the commercial exploitation of the shipwreck by the Government of President Santos and a private company.

    In 2019, iDefense reported that China’s hackers had launched cyberattacks on dozens of academic institutions in an attempt to gain information on technology being developed for the United States Navy. Some of the targets included the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The attacks have been underway since at least April 2017.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:13 pm on October 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "DNA reveals the past and future of coral reefs", , , , , , Marine Microbiology   

    From James Cook University Australia (AU) : “DNA reveals the past and future of coral reefs” 

    From James Cook University Australia (AU)

    10.12.22

    Dr Ira Cooke
    ira.cooke@jcu.edu.au

    Dr Zoe Richards
    zoe.richards@curtin.edu.au

    Jia Zhang
    jia.zhang2@my.jcu.edu.au

    Prof. David Miller
    david.miller@jcu.edu.au

    1
    Protective mucous dripping off a coral colony exposed at low tide at Beagle Reef. Image: Zoe Richards.

    New DNA techniques are being used to understand how coral reacted to the end of the last ice age in order to better predict how they will cope with current changes to the climate.

    James Cook University’s Dr Ira Cooke was senior author of the study. He said when corals become stressed they often bleach and die, but not all corals experience stress equally.

    “This is often due to genetic differences between species, but it’s usually very difficult to determine which genes are responsible. In situations where the differences evolved relatively recently – thousands, not millions of years ago – it’s much easier to do so,” said Dr Cooke.

    He said the end of the last ice age is relatively recent in evolutionary terms and it sometimes forced corals to adapt to stresses similar to those projected under future climate change.

    “Until now it hasn’t been possible to look at this period in coral evolution because most of the techniques available have provided information about much older events. But by sequencing the whole genomes of many individuals within a single species we have now been able to access this crucial period of coral evolutionary history,” said Dr Cooke.

    JCU PhD candidate Jia Zhang, lead author of the study, said sea-level change has reshaped coral communities off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia many times in the past.

    “This study examines how these historical changes have influenced coral population sizes, how far they disperse, and their ability to adapt,” said Ms Zhang.

    She said the researchers compared the genomes of corals from the inshore Kimberley with those inhabiting more benign offshore locations (Ashmore Reef and Rowley Shoals).

    “We found there were clear genetic distinctions, akin to races, between corals from the three locations we studied but most obviously between the inshore and offshore reefs, and that these genetic groups had arisen around the time the last ice-age ended.

    “This was when sea levels rose dramatically allowing corals to colonize the Kimberley region, and to re-establish themselves on the tops of offshore atolls,” said Ms Zhang.

    Co-author of the study, Dr Zoe Richards from Curtin University’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences said as the sea-level rose between 20 and 10 thousand years ago, corals dispersed to new habitats.

    “But only those individuals with the right genetic makeup were able to survive. This selective process is visible in the genomes and tells us which genes were important for survival,” said Dr Richards.

    She said corals from the Kimberley had tell-tale patterns in their genomes revealing genes that were modified through natural selection around the time of the last ice-age when they colonized this tough inshore habitat.

    Dr Cooke said one specific type of genes called peroxinectins have been under especially strong and recent evolutionary pressure (natural selection) in inshore Kimberley corals.

    “These genes clearly evolved different versions in inshore corals and it’s likely that this helps them cope with the extreme environmental conditions there. These genes provide a roadmap to help further understand how corals can survive turbid, hot and exposed conditions like those in the Kimberley.”

    The research is published in Molecular Biology and Evolution

    See the full article here .

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    Stem Education Coalition

    James Cook University (AU) is a public university in North Queensland, Australia. The second oldest university in Queensland, James Cook University is a teaching and research institution. The University’s main campuses are located in the tropical cities of Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. James Cook University also has study centres in Mount Isa, Mackay and Thursday Island. A Brisbane campus, operated by Russo Higher Education, delivers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students. The University’s main fields of research include marine sciences, biodiversity, sustainable management of tropical ecosystems, genetics and genomics, tropical health care, tourism and engineering.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:59 pm on October 3, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Small eddies play a big role in feeding ocean microbes", , , Eddies pull nutrients in from high-nutrient equatorial regions and push them into the center of a gyre., , Marine Microbiology, , Phytoplankton may receive deliveries of nutrients from outside the gyres. the delivery vehicle is in the form of eddies — much smaller currents., Subtropical gyres are enormous rotating ocean currents that generate sustained circulations in the Earth’s subtropical regions just to the north and south of the equator., , These gyres gather up nutrients and organisms and sometimes trash as the currents rotate from coast to coast.   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Small eddies play a big role in feeding ocean microbes” 

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    10.3.22
    Jennifer Chu

    1
    This video still of the North Pacific Ocean shows phosphate nutrient concentrations at 500 meters below the ocean surface. The swirls represent small eddies transporting phosphate from the nutrient-rich equator (lighter colors), northward toward the nutrient-depleted subtropics (darker colors). Image: Courtesy of the researchers.

    Subtropical gyres are enormous rotating ocean currents that generate sustained circulations in the Earth’s subtropical regions just to the north and south of the equator. These gyres are slow-moving whirlpools that circulate within massive basins around the world, gathering up nutrients and organisms and sometimes trash as the currents rotate from coast to coast.

    For years, oceanographers have puzzled over conflicting observations within subtropical gyres. At the surface, these massive currents appear to host healthy populations of phytoplankton — microbes that feed the rest of the ocean food chain and are responsible for sucking up a significant portion of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide.

    But judging from what scientists know about the dynamics of gyres, they estimated the currents themselves wouldn’t be able to maintain enough nutrients to sustain the phytoplankton they were seeing. How, then, were the microbes able to thrive?

    Now, MIT researchers have found that phytoplankton may receive deliveries of nutrients from outside the gyres, and that the delivery vehicle is in the form of eddies — much smaller currents that swirl at the edges of a gyre. These eddies pull nutrients in from high-nutrient equatorial regions and push them into the center of a gyre, where the nutrients are then taken up by other currents and pumped to the surface to feed phytoplankton.

    Ocean eddies, the team found, appear to be an important source of nutrients in subtropical gyres. Their replenishing effect, which the researchers call a “nutrient relay,” helps maintain populations of phytoplankton, which play a central role in the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere. While climate models tend to project a decline in the ocean’s ability to sequester carbon over the coming decades, this “nutrient relay” could help sustain carbon storage over the subtropical oceans.

    “There’s a lot of uncertainty about how the carbon cycle of the ocean will evolve as climate continues to change, ” says Mukund Gupta, a postdoc at Caltech who led the study as a graduate student at MIT. “As our paper shows, getting the carbon distribution right is not straightforward, and depends on understanding the role of eddies and other fine-scale motions in the ocean.”

    Gupta and his colleagues report their findings this week in the PNAS [below]. The study’s co-authors are Jonathan Lauderdale, Oliver Jahn, Christopher Hill, Stephanie Dutkiewicz, and Michael Follows at MIT, and Richard Williams at the University of Liverpool.

    A snowy puzzle

    A cross-section of an ocean gyre resembles a stack of nesting bowls that is stratified by density: Warmer, lighter layers lie at the surface, while colder, denser waters make up deeper layers. Phytoplankton live within the ocean’s top sunlit layers, where the microbes require sunlight, warm temperatures, and nutrients to grow.

    When phytoplankton die, they sink through the ocean’s layers as “marine snow.” Some of this snow releases nutrients back into the current, where they are pumped back up to feed new microbes. The rest of the snow sinks out of the gyre, down to the deepest layers of the ocean. The deeper the snow sinks, the more difficult it is for it to be pumped back to the surface. The snow is then trapped, or sequestered, along with any unreleased carbon and nutrients.

    Oceanographers thought that the main source of nutrients in subtropical gyres came from recirculating marine snow. But as a portion of this snow inevitably sinks to the bottom, there must be another source of nutrients to explain the healthy populations of phytoplankton at the surface. Exactly what that source is “has left the oceanography community a little puzzled for some time,” Gupta says.

    Swirls at the edge

    In their new study, the team sought to simulate a subtropical gyre to see what other dynamics may be at work. They focused on the North Pacific gyre, one of the Earth’s five major gyres, which circulates over most of the North Pacific Ocean, and spans more than 20 million square kilometers.

    The team started with the MITgcm, a general circulation model that simulates the physical circulation patterns in the atmosphere and oceans. To reproduce the North Pacific gyre’s dynamics as realistically as possible, the team used an MITgcm algorithm, previously developed at NASA and MIT, which tunes the model to match actual observations of the ocean, such as ocean currents recorded by satellites, and temperature and salinity measurements taken by ships and drifters.

    “We use a simulation of the physical ocean that is as realistic as we can get, given the machinery of the model and the available observations,” Lauderdale says.


    An animation of the North Pacific Ocean shows phosphate nutrient concentrations at 500 meters below the ocean surface. The swirls represent small eddies transporting phosphate from the nutrient-rich equator (lighter colors), northward toward the nutrient-depleted subtropics (darker colors). This nutrient relay mechanism helps sustain biological activity and carbon sequestration in the subtropical ocean. Credit: Oliver Jahn.

    The realistic model captured finer details, at a resolution of less than 20 kilometers per pixel, compared to other models that have a more limited resolution. The team combined the simulation of the ocean’s physical behavior with the Darwin model — a simulation of microbe communities such as phytoplankton, and how they grow and evolve with ocean conditions.

    The team ran the combined simulation of the North Pacific gyre over a decade, and created animations to visualize the pattern of currents and the nutrients they carried, in and around the gyre. What emerged were small eddies that ran along the edges of the enormous gyre and appeared to be rich in nutrients.

    “We were picking up on little eddy motions, basically like weather systems in the ocean,” Lauderdale says. “These eddies were carrying packets of high-nutrient waters, from the equator, north into the center of the gyre and downwards along the sides of the bowls. We wondered if these eddy transfers made an important delivery mechanism.”

    Surprisingly, the nutrients first move deeper, away from the sunlight, before being returned upwards where the phytoplankton live. The team found that ocean eddies could supply up to 50 percent of the nutrients in subtropical gyres.

    “That is very significant,” Gupta says. “The vertical process that recycles nutrients from marine snow is only half the story. The other half is the replenishing effect of these eddies. As subtropical gyres contribute a significant part of the world’s oceans, we think this nutrient relay is of global importance.”

    Science paper:
    PNAS

    See the full article here .


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    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory , the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center , and the Haystack Observatory , as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Whitehead Institute.

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities.

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst ). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected The Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However, six Massachusetts Institute of Technology students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched “OpenCourseWare” to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:32 pm on August 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Cultivating Super Corals Alone Is Unlikely to Protect Coral Reefs From Climate Change", , Coral reef restoration techniques are widely applied throughout the world as a way to repopulate degraded coral reef areas., , Marine Microbiology, Restoration efforts need to be conducted at much greater spatial and temporal scales to have long-term benefits., Restoration practices carry a hefty price tag and require a lot of resources., Selectively breeding corals to be more heat tolerant only will lead to benefits if conducted at a very large scale over the course of centuries., The best chance of adapting to the effects of climate change-like warming ocean temperatures-if there is high genetic diversity and if habitat is protected from other local stressors., The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences   

    From The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences: “Cultivating Super Corals Alone Is Unlikely to Protect Coral Reefs From Climate Change” 

    From The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences

    At

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    Rutgers University

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    Restoration efforts need to be conducted at much greater spatial and temporal scales to have long-term benefits.

    A popular coral restoration technique is unlikely to protect coral reefs from climate change and is based on the assumption that local threats to reefs are managed effectively, according to a study co-authored by Rutgers, Coral Research Alliance and researchers at other institutions.

    The research, published in the journal Ecological Applications [below], explored the response of coral reefs to restoration projects that propagate corals and outplant them into the wild. Additionally, researchers evaluated the effects of outplanting corals genetically adapted to warmer temperatures, sometimes called “super corals,” to reefs experiencing climate change as a way to build resilience to warming.

    The study found neither approach was successful at preventing a decline in coral coverage in the next several hundred years because of climate change and that selectively breeding corals to be more heat tolerant only will lead to benefits if conducted at a very large scale over the course of centuries.

    Even then, the researchers said, the benefits won’t be realized for 200 years.

    Restoring areas with corals that haven’t been selected to be more heat tolerant was ineffective at helping corals survive climate change except at the largest supplementation levels.

    “Our previous research shows that corals have the best chance of adapting to the effects of climate change-like warming ocean temperatures-if there is high genetic diversity and if habitat is protected from other local stressors.” said Lisa McManus, who co-led the research and conducted the work as a postdoctoral researcher at Rutgers University and is now faculty at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. “Repopulating a coral reef with corals that have similar genetic makeups could reduce an area’s natural genetic diversity, and therefore make it harder for all corals to adapt to climate change.”

    Coral reef restoration techniques are widely applied throughout the world as a way to repopulate degraded coral reef areas. Although the practice has some benefits, such as engaging and educating communities about reef ecosystems or replenishing a coral reef population after an area has been hit by a storm or suffered direct physical damage, more scientists are speaking up about the limitations of conservation approaches that focus solely on restoration.

    The authors said focusing solely on coral restoration and genetically engineering corals to be more tolerant of high temperatures is risky. Understanding of the genes that determine heat resistance remains limited and focusing on reproducing just one single trait could undermine a coral’s resilience to other stressors or its natural ability to adapt, they said.

    Restoration practices also carry a hefty price tag and require a lot of resources. The median cost of restoring just one hectare (or about 2.5 acres) of coral reef has been estimated at more than $350,000, which doesn’t factor in high mortality rates that often come with such projects and the cost of genetically modifying corals.

    “Coral restoration can be an important tool for conserving coral reefs, but restoration is expensive and hard. We can’t use restoration to replace the basics, like improving water quality, avoiding overfishing, and addressing climate change,” said Malin Pinsky, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

    The study was co-authored by Rutgers professor Malin Pinsky, and researchers from Coral Reef Alliance, University of Washington, Stanford University, University of Queensland, University of Hawai’i and The Nature Conservancy. The research was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and The Nature Conservancy.

    Science paper:
    Ecological Applications

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The basis for what is today The Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences was formed in 1864 from an effort led by professor George H. Cook to designate Rutgers as New Jersey’s land-grant college, two years after Congress passed the 1862 Morrill Act creating public, land-grant institutions across the nation. The Rutgers Scientific School was the distinct unit established to carry out the land-grant mission.In 1880 the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES)—the 3rd oldest in the U.S.—was set up to conduct applied agricultural research for the public interest. The school’s affiliation with NJAES reflected the nation and the state’s mission to extend knowledge to the predominant agricultural sector of the time. This was further facilitated by the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 that established the national Cooperative Extension system at each land-grant institution to disseminate information for the public good and the agricultural emphasis was reflected in 1917 when Rutgers Scientific School was renamed the College of Agriculture.

    As New Jersey grew into a more urban and suburban state indicating changing demands, in 1965 the College of Agriculture was re-titled the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES), the first land-grant institution to add a focus on the environment to its name. In 1971 the CAES changed its name to Cook College in honor of George H. Cook. Cook College was renamed the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) in 2007, as part of a university-wide reorganization of undergraduate education at Rutgers that also saw the adoption of the term “school” to designate all degree-granting units of the university.

    Throughout its long history, the school has been home to many firsts and historical innovations, with worldwide impact: In 1934 the world-renowned Rutgers tomato was released, serving as the leading commercial variety for decades; in 1938 Enos Perry established the first dairy cow artificial insemination program in the US; in 1943 Albert Schatz and Selman Waksman discovered the life-saving tuberculosis drug streptomycin; in 1965 William Roberts innovated the first air-inflated, double-layer polyethylene greenhouse, revolutionizing a worldwide industry; in 2016 the Rutgers Slocum Electric Underwater Glider completed the first crossing of the South Atlantic by an autonomous underwater vehicle.

    Today SEBS supports vibrant academic departments, research and outreach centers, and institutes addressing the scientific foundation of the pressing needs of the 21st century in the environment, climate, marine and coastal, agriculture, nutrition, plant biology, landscape design, food systems, and more.

    rutgers-campus

    Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to providing services, solutions, and clinical care that help individuals and the local, national, and global communities where they live.

    Founded in 1766, Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate; postdoctoral fellowships to residencies; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement.

    Rutgers University is a public land-grant research university based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Chartered in 1766, Rutgers was originally called Queen’s College, and today it is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, the second-oldest in New Jersey (after Princeton University), and one of the nine U.S. colonial colleges that were chartered before the American War of Independence. In 1825, Queen’s College was renamed Rutgers College in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, whose substantial gift to the school had stabilized its finances during a period of uncertainty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a private liberal arts college but it has evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated The State University of New Jersey by the New Jersey Legislature via laws enacted in 1945 and 1956.

    Rutgers today has three distinct campuses, located in New Brunswick (including grounds in adjacent Piscataway), Newark, and Camden. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in the state, including oceanographic research facilities at the New Jersey shore. Rutgers is also a land-grant university, a sea-grant university, and the largest university in the state. Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students. The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities and the Universities Research Association. Over the years, Rutgers has been considered a Public Ivy.

    Research

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, also known as RUCCS. This research center hosts researchers in psychology, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, electrical engineering, and anthropology.

    It was at Rutgers that Selman Waksman (1888–1973) discovered several antibiotics, including actinomycin, clavacin, streptothricin, grisein, neomycin, fradicin, candicidin, candidin, and others. Waksman, along with graduate student Albert Schatz (1920–2005), discovered streptomycin—a versatile antibiotic that was to be the first applied to cure tuberculosis. For this discovery, Waksman received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1952.

    Rutgers developed water-soluble sustained release polymers, tetraploids, robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination, and the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle. In health related field, Rutgers has the Environmental & Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI).

    Rutgers is also home to the RCSB Protein Data bank, “…an information portal to Biological Macromolecular Structures’ cohosted with the San Diego Supercomputer Center. This database is the authoritative research tool for bioinformaticists using protein primary, secondary and tertiary structures worldwide….”

    Rutgers is home to the Rutgers Cooperative Research & Extension office, which is run by the Agricultural and Experiment Station with the support of local government. The institution provides research & education to the local farming and agro industrial community in 19 of the 21 counties of the state and educational outreach programs offered through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Office of Continuing Professional Education.

    Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) is the largest university based repository in the world and has received awards worth more than $57.8 million from the National Institutes of Health. One will fund genetic studies of mental disorders and the other will support investigations into the causes of digestive, liver and kidney diseases, and diabetes. RUCDR activities will enable gene discovery leading to diagnoses, treatments and, eventually, cures for these diseases. RUCDR assists researchers throughout the world by providing the highest quality biomaterials, technical consultation, and logistical support.

    Rutgers–Camden is home to the nation’s PhD granting Department of Childhood Studies. This department, in conjunction with the Center for Children and Childhood Studies, also on the Camden campus, conducts interdisciplinary research which combines methodologies and research practices of sociology, psychology, literature, anthropology and other disciplines into the study of childhoods internationally.

    Rutgers is home to several National Science Foundation IGERT fellowships that support interdisciplinary scientific research at the graduate-level. Highly selective fellowships are available in the following areas: Perceptual Science, Stem Cell Science and Engineering, Nanotechnology for Clean Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Fuels Solutions, and Nanopharmaceutical Engineering.

    Rutgers also maintains the Office of Research Alliances that focuses on working with companies to increase engagement with the university’s faculty members, staff and extensive resources on the four campuses.

    As a ’67 graduate of University College, second in my class, I am proud to be a member of

    Alpha Sigma Lamda, National Honor Society of non-tradional students.

     
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