IGERT students from UMB went down to New York City to contribute to Submerge Marine Science Festival. The event was held on a beautiful day at Hudson River Park with 6,500 people in attendance. UMass Boston students lead an activity that challenged people to make a “phytoplankton” out of art supplies that would neither sink nor float, but instead be neutrally buoyant. This was intended to represent a phytoplankton living in the photic zone. Many kids and even some adults took on the challenge and a few succeeded in making a neutrally buoyant “phytoplankton.”
Inspired by a presentation on VR by Microsoft’s Principal Business Strategist and Architect, Jack generated a novel concept for humanitarian assistance in coastal disasters and forwarded the research results to the event organizer, Commander Zac Staples, Director of the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Cyber Warfare.
“I’ve written a piece after attending a symposium held by the U.S. Navy and MIT focusing on new technologies for coastal disaster response. First, I learned that humanitarian “solutions” can sometimes bring their own problems and ongoing dialogue is essential to trustworthy disaster response. Second, a literature review revealed that evidence and consent are two essential drivers when introducing any new technology that claims to make people safer. I think the combination of new technologies mixed with personal experience will generate a lot of positive discussion in the environmental response and security spheres.” -Jack Whitacre, Cohort 2017
How do we effectively communicate climate change to coastal communities across diverse cultural and political landscapes around the world? This is the urgent question that IGERT Fellow, Kelly Luis, sought to answer at the recent Climate Engagement Program workshop at the University of California in Santa Cruz. As part of the program, Kelly was trained to effectively engage audiences to enact potential climate change solutions. As part of the program, Kelly created her own climate engagement plan and will spend the year putting her plan into action, receiving support from UC Santa Cruz along the way.
“I am extremely humbled to be a part of the first cohort of UCSC Climate Engagement Fellows. Every individual in the program valued effective and meaningful engagement, which fostered brilliant and inspiring discussions throughout the workshop. ” -Kelly Luis, Cohort 2016