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UM Rosenstiel School Announces 2017 Sea Secrets Lecture Series

Program kicks off with a lecture by award-winning marine wildlife photojournalist Brian Skerry

MIAMI—The University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and The Ocean Research and Education Foundation, invite the South Florida community to join distinguished scientists and explorers at the edge of discovery during the 2017 Sea Secrets lecture series. The series will present speakers and topics relevant to today’s global challenges, from climate change to coral reef health, in a format designed for the non-scientific community.

“For more than 20 years, the UM Rosenstiel School has been hosting distinguished speakers from around the world to provide the south Florida community with cutting-edge marine and atmospheric science and exploration,” said UM Rosenstiel School Dean Roni Avissar. “We are pleased to provide our community with another great line-up this year.”

Sea Secrets will kick off on Wednesday, Jan. 18 with a lecture by Brian Skerry, an award-winning marine wildlife photojournalist. During his talk “Ocean Soul,” Skerry will take the audience around the world and into the sea, sharing tales from many of his feature stories for National Geographic Magazine. Environmental problems and solutions are illustrated and audiences are brought eye-to-eye with amazing marine animals and exotic locations.

The five lectures, which run through May 4, are free and open to the public and designed to provide insight and information about our planet. Seating is limited and RSVP is requested. Links to Eventbrite are provided for each lecture. NOTE: The 5th lecture on May 4th, takes place at the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Science Museum and has a later start time. For more information, email: events@rsmas.miami.edu or call 305-421-4061.

The 2017 Sea Secrets lecture series is sponsored by The Shepard Broad Foundation, Sheryl Gold, William J. Gallwey III, Esquire, Key Biscayne Community Foundation, Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, Concrete Beach Brewery, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and WPBT PBS.

Winners of the annual UM Rosenstiel School Underwater Photography Contest will be announced

2017 Sea Secrets Lecture Series schedule:


Brian SkerryWednesday, January 18, 2017 Ocean Soul at Rosenstiel School auditorium, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP: https://seasecrets1.eventbrite.com/

Brian Skerry, National Geographic Underwater Photojournalist

In his presentation Ocean Soul, marine wildlife photojournalist Brian Skerry will take the audience around the world and into the sea sharing tales from many of his feature stories for National Geographic Magazine. Environmental problems and solutions are illustrated and audiences are brought eye-to-eye with amazing marine animals and exotic locations. Brian will also share tales from behind the photo, talking about how images are made and all the adventures of life in the field.






Susan AveryThursday, February 9, 2017 Our Connected Ocean – A Revolution in Ocean Science at Rosenstiel School auditorium, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP: https://seasecrets2.eventbrite.com/

Susan Avery, President and Director Emerita, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

During her talk, Our Connected Ocean – A Revolution in Ocean Science, Dr. Susan Avery will discuss the quiet revolution in ocean science and what it means for humanity. Understanding the ocean’s complexity – today’s challenge for science – requires the use of new platforms that provide access to all parts of the ocean, new sensors that continually observe the ocean, and new observing networks that provide continuous data to scientists worldwide.





Gavin SchmidtThursday, March 9, 2017 Choosing our Climate Adventure at Rosenstiel School auditorium, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP: https://seasecrets3.eventbrite.com/

Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

During his talk, Choosing our Climate Adventure, Dr. Gavin Schmidt will discuss his work on how models of past, present and future climate can be used to determine the fingerprints of climate drivers and what that means for past and present changes. Additionally, he will discuss the implications for future policy choices including mitigation and adaptation and the outlines of the adventure our society will have to choose.





Jesse AusubelThursday, April 6, 2017 Naked DNA in My Seawater at Rosenstiel School auditorium 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP: https://seasecrets4.eventbrite.com/

Jesse Ausubel, Director and Senior Research Associate Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University

During his talk, Naked DNA in My Seawater, Mr. Ausubel will introduce us to the eDNA in our seawater that you may have already gulped while swimming. Loose or extracellular DNA abounds in natural water, salt and fresh. It may shed like dandruff from the break-up of cells. The presence of many aquatic animals can be reliably detected by analyzing water samples for the presence of DNA fragments. Emerging eDNA technology could add to or supplant traditional time-consuming, expensive and destructive monitoring methods. As reference libraries of DNA grow, eDNA could become a top way to understand the status of marine life.



Fernando Bretos and Andrew BakerThursday, May 4 2017 Coral Reefs and Science Diplomacy: Bridging the Gap with Cuba at Patricia and Phillip Frost Science Museum 1101 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33132 beginning with a reception at 7:00p.m., followed by the lecture at 7:30 p.m.

RSVP: https://seasecrets5.eventbrite.com/

Fernando Bretos, Director of MUVE at Frost Science

Andrew Baker Associate Professor, Department of Marine Biology and Ecology, UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

During their presentation, Coral Reefs and Science Diplomacy: Bridging the Gap with Cuba, Mr. Bretos and Dr. Baker will discuss the efforts they are spearheading to use science diplomacy to bring marine science together in the two countries after 55 years of isolation. The recent re-establishment of diplomatic relations is opening new avenues for scientific investigation and environmental conservation. Frost Science Curator Fernando Bretos and UM Professor Andrew Baker will discuss new joint research they are conducting with Cuban scientists on the connections between coral reefs in the U.S. and our neighbor 90 miles south. Join us as we learn about their work to understand why Cuba’s reefs are in better condition than those in the U.S., how they can be protected from further declines, and how they might help boost the resilience of Florida’s coral reefs.


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About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School

The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, visit:  www.rsmas.miami.edu.

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