Underwater explorer to speak on status of oceans

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Nov 22,  2007

Dr. Sylvia Earle, an underwater explorer and scientist, will give a presentation at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Arthur Outlaw Convention Center in Mobile, Ala., during the Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium.

The marine biologist will speak about how humans are affecting world oceans in her presentation, "Sea Change – Subtle Impact." She will cover environmental issues, such as heightened mercury levels in fish to tsunami devastation in areas once protected by corals and mangroves.

Admission to her one-hour presentation is free. Registration fees apply to those who want to attend the entire two-day symposium. To register, go to

Earle, a former chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has pioneered research on marine ecosystems and has led more than 50 expeditions totaling more than 6,000 hours underwater. She holds numerous diving records, including setting the women’s depth record for solo diving at 3,300 feet.

Duke University Geologist Dr. Orrin Pilkey will present a lively discussion on his life’s work on barrier islands, beach processes and coastal development from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The public is invited to the social event. Tickets are $10 and include hors d’oeuvres.

Both Earle and Pilkey will be available for book signings, which will be sponsored by Barnes and Noble.

The symposium will feature scientific presentations on water quality, living resources, habitat management, natural hazards and coastal development in Alabama and Mississippi. The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, the Alabama Center for Estuarine Studies and The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory are hosting the event.


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