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How You Can Be the Change You Envision

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by Sarah D. Oktay, Ph.D.

Published in: Environment
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How You Can Be the Change You Envision

  1. 1. HOW YOU CAN BE THE CHANGE YOU ENVISION SARAH OKTAY, PHD DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS BOSTON NANTUCKET FIELD STATION PRESIDENT, ORGANIZATION OF BIOLOGICAL FIELD STATIONS Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Summit July 1 2015
  2. 2. OUR CHALLENGES • We are polluting the planet and harming the oceans, our land, and the animals and habitat • Big issues like increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are causing planet-wide chaos • Small issues like septic system runoff, introduction of invasive species, and plastic pollution are causing algae blooms, reducing biodiversity, and contaminating the ocean while choking larger creatures • Big governments and “adults” are slow moving and sometimes overly concerned about the bottom line, they don’t always understand a cleaner earth and ocean saves money
  3. 3. UMASS BOSTON NANTUCKET FIELD STATION Placed Based Research doing science in the field at the point where research and the public meet
  4. 4. FIELD STATIONS AND MARINE LABS GLOBALLY900+ international field stations Interactive Map
  5. 5. ORGANIZATION OF BIOLOGICAL FIELD STATIONS
  6. 6. ONE SOLUTION: PUT KIDS IN CHARGE: GRACE GROSSMAN INNER CITY YOUTH COLLABORATIVE: BEACH PROFILING, BIODIVERSITY SURVEYS & HORSESHOE CRAB COUNTS
  7. 7. High School Students collecting data and solving water quality and pollution dilemmas
  8. 8. WATER DEFENSEINSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION  HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOM TESTING Designing easy to deploy passive water samplers
  9. 9. THE NANTUCKET FIELD STATIONS WORKS WITH THE PROVINCETOWN CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES: HIGH RESOLUTION MAPPING OF SEA FLOOR
  10. 10. WATER QUALITY PROGRAMS  Surface Water • Freshwater • Salt (Harbors, Sound and Ocean) • Brackish (salt marsh studies) • Groundwater  Salinity, dissolved oxygen,  Nutrients:  too much from fertilizers  septics  boats  Coliforms, etc.
  11. 11. • Collaboration with Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. Shearwater Excursions, UMB-NFS, Nantucket Marine Mammal Conservation Program • Marine Mammal Science & Education • Extends range of observations for right and humpback whales • Enhances experience on whale watches
  12. 12. Humans and Animals collide as marine mammal populations rebound
  13. 13. FISHERIES
  14. 14. Ocean acidification is already causing changes to bivalves and coral reefs everywhere Rising sea surface temperatures are accelerating algal blooms and driving some fish further offshore
  15. 15. HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOMS FRESHWATER SALTWATER 
  16. 16. NANTUCKET SEMESTER SCIENCE • Topics: Conch, Bycatch, Scallops, Salt marsh vegetation changes, Chl-a, HABs, Oyster, eels, Beach profiling
  17. 17. COASTAL RESILIENCY: HOW DO WE DEAL WITH RISING SEAS AND BIG STORMS?
  18. 18. HURRICANE SANDY FEBRUARY 2013 STORM NEMO http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/czm/pr ogram-areas/stormsmart-coasts/
  19. 19. HOW DO WE CHANGE POLICY AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE? • Fertilizer regulations • Docks and piers • Balloons now banned on Nantucket • Styrofoam and plastic bags • Protecting wetlands and the harbor • Fisheries regulations • Education public about marine mammals • Showing people effects of climate change

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