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Renowned Scientist Will Discuss Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reefs


February 2, 2009 — Renowned marine ecologist and geologist Joanie Kleypas will discuss the implications of increased carbon dioxide levels on marine life Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in Room 129 of the University of Wyoming Classroom Building.

A marine ecologist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Kleypas will present "Carbon Dioxide: Effects on Ocean Warming and Acidification and Consequences for Coral Reef Ecosystems." UW's Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) program and the Program in Ecology (PiE) will co-sponsor the talk.

Carbon dioxide impacts on the world's coral reefs is the focus of the international section of an ENR capstone class.

"We are honored that Dr. Kleypas will present her research on how coral reefs and other marine ecosystems are affected by changes in the Earth's atmosphere and climate," says Harold Bergman, professor of the ENR capstone class, "and we welcome all students, faculty, staff and the public to attend this special talk."

From economists to geologists and social scientists to ecologists, an array of UW and visiting faculty and experts contribute to the ENR capstone class curricula and lectures. With an interdisciplinary focus, the ENR program also provides students with the opportunity to study international environmental issues. One section of the capstone class focuses on coral reef research, management and policy options to understand and address anticipated ocean warming and acidification in the next century.

"The ability to gain first-hand knowledge of this issue and to learn from experts such as Kleypas can really make a difference in student learning when it comes to natural resource issues and working toward solutions in the future," Bergman says.

Kleypas has a long history of research and outreach on coral reef ecosystems. Her presentation will include a discussion on how global warming has been identified as causing tropical ocean temperatures to increase faster than corals can adapt, resulting in high rates of coral bleaching.

Her current research is focused on informing policy makers about future marine ecological consequences of various atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, while also working to guide conservation efforts for coral reefs and other marine ecosystems in the future.

For more about ENR's international section or this special presentation, contact Bergman at (307) 766-2022 or e-mail Bergman@uwyo.edu.

Photo:
Joanie Kleypas (NCAR Photo)

Posted on Monday, February 02, 2009

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