Discover Science Weekend

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Lightning Talks

Discover Science Weekend kickoff event

Thursday, November 10, 7-10pm at the Seattle Aquarium
Online ticket sales are now closed. Tickets are available to purchase at the door for $15 (credit cards only).
 


Learn about marine science research directly from local scientists during Lightning Talks, part of the Aquarium’s larger Discover Science Weekend. Get exciting five-minute glimpses into a variety of topics, and learn how you can help with the conservation of our marine environment. It’s like science on a speed date—including a chance to meet and network with the scientists after their presentations! Admission to the Aquarium is included.


Lightning Talks speakers and topics:

Trevor Branch
Associate Professor
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington

Carey Kuhn
Ecologist
Marine Mammal Laboratory, NOAA Fisheries

Adam P. Summers
Professor
University of Washington, Friday Harbor Labs

Dr. Gregory C. Johnson
Affiliate Professor
School of Oceanography, College of the Environment, University of Washington

James E. West
Senior Research Scientist
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Lindsay Holladay
Marine Science Interpreter
Seattle Aquarium

Lynda Mapes
Environmental Reporter
The Seattle Times

Megsie Siple
Graduate student
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington

Shawn Larson
Curator of Conservation Research
Seattle Aquarium

Dr. James C. Deutsch
Director, Wildlife Conservation
Vulcan Inc.

Lightning Talks speakers and topics:

Trevor Branch
Associate professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington

The near extinction and hopeful rebuilding of the Antarctic blue whale: the largest animal ever

The largest and most numerous blue whale population in the world lives in the Antarctic. These animals’ swift speed protected the population from whalers until the 20th century, but then it was rapidly whaled down to just 0.15 percent of pre-whaling numbers. Since the 1970s, when the final burst of illegal Soviet whaling ended, their numbers have started to rebuild, but remain between just one and two percent of original levels.

Northern fur seal populations in Alaska are less than 25% of their historic levels and continue to decline for unknown reasons. In 2016, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) used ground-breaking technology, Saildrones, to create the first detailed maps of prey availability within the fur seals range while simultaneously measuring fur seal feeding behavior. This study will help researchers determine how variation in food availability impacts northern fur seals, which is a significant step towards determining if a reduction in the fur seal’s prey is linked to the decline.

Adam P. Summers
Professor, University of Washington, Friday Harbor Labs
Armor from the sea—what poachers teach us about defense

I am, with colleagues, CT scanning every fish in the sea, river, lake and pond. We have discovered some rules about armoring from a group of eastern north Pacific fishes called poachers. They use armor for lots of reasons and we can learn new tricks by understanding their approach.

Dr. Gregory C. Johnson
Affiliate professor, School of Oceanography, College of the Environment, University of Washington
Climate change science
lightning haiku summary
with watercolors

In September 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approved their fifth assessment report on the physical science basis of climate change. It has 14 chapters, is 1,535 pages long, and weighs over eight pounds. One of the lead authors of this report distills it (unofficially) into 19 haiku illustrated by watercolors.

James E. West
Senior research scientist, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Biomagnification of toxic contaminants in Puget Sound’s food web: let’s look out the window to Elliott Bay

How have Pacific Northwest killer whales, “…some of the most contaminated cetaceans studied in the world,” become so contaminated with PCBs? Here we look at pathways and biomagnification of PCBs in the food web that supports these and other apex predators in Puget Sound. How does this information help us decide how best to reduce chemical contamination of the Salish Sea ecosystem?

Lindsay Holladay
Marine science interpreter, Seattle Aquarium
20,000 leaks under the sea

How do we know where methane is seeping out of the continental shelf and where is it coming from? What effect will it have on our coastal water and atmosphere? Can we harvest it? This past June, a team of ocean researchers, underwater engineers and marine educators set out on the E/V Nautilus to add to these questions.

Description coming soon!

Margaret Siple
Graduate student, University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Sound and herring: the Puget Sound food web and its most iconic forage fish

Pacific herring are an essential component of the Puget Sound food web, transforming energy from zooplankton into edible packets of food for predators like seabirds, marine mammals and salmon. Though famous for being the food of other famous organisms, herring are exciting in their own right. I will share what we currently know about herring in the Puget Sound ecosystem, and briefly discuss some herring mysteries yet to be solved.

Shawn Larson
Curator of conservation research, Seattle Aquarium
Wildlife rehabilitation and the story of Rialto

I will discuss the value of wildlife rehabilitation by telling the story of the rehabilitation at the Seattle Aquarium of a baby sea otter found stranded on Rialto beach this summer. His story is compelling for many reasons, and raises the question about why people are so moved by the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife.

Dr. James C. Deutsch
Director, Wildlife Conservation, Vulcan Inc.
Counting to save sharks through Finprint

Some 100 million sharks are fished yearly, resulting in population crashes around the world. But no one has ever tried to count sharks globally to assess species, population and ecosystem health, and inform conservation action. With partners led by Florida State University, we’re deploying baited remote underwater video units (BRUVs) across the world’s coral reefs to determine, for the first time, where sharks are thriving and where they are missing or at risk.

 



Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter during Lightning Talks by using #Sci5.

Discover Science Weekend

Friday-Sunday, November 11-13

Bring the family to explore science together through exciting interactive experiments and presentations. Meet scientists and researchers from the Aquarium as well as other organizations in the community to learn about current projects, as well as why and how the research is being conducted.

Event schedule coming soon!

Homeschool families will be eligible for a special reduced admission rate of $9 per person for this event only. These families will be required to give us their email/mailing address when they come in so we can follow up about the event.

Saturday, November 9–Monday, November 11

Scheduled Activities

Activity

 

Location

 

Time

Diver Show

 

Window on Washington Waters

 

10am

Meet a Shark Expert

 

Puget Sound Hall

 

10:30am

Diver Show

 

Window on Washington Waters

 

11:30am

Meet Our Marine Mammals

 

Marine Mammal Exhibit area

 

11:30am

Meet Our Octopus

 

Octopus Exhibit

 

12pm

Diver Show

 

Window on Washington Waters

 

12:15pm

Meet a Local Scientist

 

Puget Sound Hall

 

1:30pm

Meet our Marine Mammals

 

Marine Mammal Exhibit area

 

2pm

Diver Show

 

Window on Washington Waters

 

3pm

Meet Our Octopus

 

Octopus Exhibit

 

4pm

Scheduled activities

Time

Activity

Location

10am

Diver Show

Window on Washington Waters

11am

Exploring Our Oceans with Technology

Puget Sound Hall

11:30am

Seal/Sea Otter Science

Marine Mammal Exhibit

11:30am

Ocean Exploration Diver Show

Window on Washington Waters

Noon

Octopus Investigation

Octopus Exhibit

12:15pm

Ocean Exploration Diver Show

Window on Washington Waters

1pm

Exploring Our Oceans with Technology

Puget Sound Hall

2pm

Seal/Sea Otter Science

Marine Mammal Exhibit

3pm

Ocean Exploration Diver Show

Window on Washington Waters

4pm

Octopus Investigation

Octopus Exhibit