2019 Symposium

The Future of the Global Ocean 

September 19-21, 2019

“Are the oceans dying?” This question, posed on the cover of Newsweek in 2003, has been repeated with increasing frequency and alarm ever since. The planet has been facing marine environmental crisis for far longer than two decades, yet in recent years marine scientists have vastly increased our understanding of the challenges to ocean health. Overfished, polluted, warming, acidifying, and increasingly laden with plastic debris, the marine environment is in dire straits.

New research in marine science can improve our understanding of ocean health and point in new directions for research. The 2019 Clifford Symposium on The Future of the Global Ocean will feature a keynote address by Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography, Sea Education Association. Featured speakers Dr. Jennifer Francis (Woods Hole Research Center), Dr. Lisa Gilbert (Williams College), and Dr. Randi Rotjan (Boston University) will help us explore key environmental topics from marine protected areas and submarine thermal vents to ocean plastics and the influence of melting sea ice on continental weather patterns. The symposium will also host a screening of the documentary film Chasing the Thunder, which recounts a remarkable story of environmental activism on the high seas. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society head Paul Watson and filmmaker Mark Benjamin will introduce and answer questions about the film.

Dr. Randi Rotjan

Science and Conservation in the Largest and Deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site on Earth: The Phoenix Islands Protected Area

View video on Vimeo

Dr. Lisa Gilbert

Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents and Volcanoes

View video on Vimeo

Dr. Kara Lavender Law

Reflections of an Ocean Plastics Scientist

View video on Vimeo

Dr. Richard King, Jennifer Crandall ’20, Caitlin Dicara ‘20

Whale Watching from the Masthead off New Zealand: Historic and Present Global Whale Populations and Shifting Perspectives on Extinction

View video on Vimeo

Dr. Jennifer Francis

Extreme Weather on the Rise, Arctic Ice on the Decline: How are They Connected?

View video on Vimeo

Dr. Jeremy Ward, Dr. Erin Eggleston, Will Greene ‘19, Luke Kikukawa ’19.5, Helena Milazzo ‘22, George Valentine ’19.5

Coral Reefs: Liberal Arts and the Global Ocean

View video on Vimeo