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Marine Life of the Lost Coast Lecture Series – Part 1 w/ Dr. Paul Bourdeau

February 22, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Marine Life of the Lost Coast, a two part lecture series via Zoom, featuring experts in the fields of Zoology and the Biological Sciences is being presented by Friends of the Lost Coast in partnership with the BLM King Range on February 22 and March 1. The two 60-minute lectures – with a Q&A at the end of each presentation – are from 6 to 7p.m. The first lecture, on February 22, is titled Fear & Corrosion on the Lost Coast: Coastal Ecosystems & Climate Change in Northern CA, with Dr. Paul Bourdeau, HSU Professor of Biological Sciences. The second lecture, on March 1, is titled Marine Mammals of the North Coast – What we are Learning about Elephant Seals, Gray Whales, and Stranded Marine Mammals, presented by Dr. Dawn Goley, HSU Zoology Professor and Director of the Marine Mammal Education & Research Program.

Tuesday, February 22: Dr Paul Bourdeau – HSU Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Fear & Corrosion on the Lost Coast: Coastal Ecosystems & Climate Change in Northern CA

Global climate change is affecting the traits and distributions of species, and the structure and function of the ecological communities they compose. One major associated environmental change in the ocean is ocean acidification, where increasing atmospheric CO2 drives increasing CO2 absorption by the oceans, with a corresponding reduction in oceanic pH and carbonate ions, which in turn makes it difficult for calcifying organisms to build and maintain their shells. Global oceanic pH has declined by 0.1 units since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and forecasts predict a further reduction of 0.35 units by the end of the 21st century. This rate of change is unprecedented in the geologic record, and has thus motivated significant efforts to understand the biological implications of OA. Variability ocean conditions, including ocean pH, are an intrinsic characteristic of coastal ecosystems along the northern California coast, where changes in CO2, pH, temperature, nutrients and other factors are the result of dynamic processes such as upwelling. In our region, some populations of marine organisms are exposed to natural variability in ocean pH that can be far greater in magnitude than the predicted change due to ocean acidification. South of Cape Mendocino, pH of coastal waters rarely falls below 7.75. In contrast, the region north of Cape Mendocino experiences recurrent, strong, but highly variable upwelling – meaning exposure to low pH stress during the upwelling season for marine organisms. Such natural variability may have prompted the evolution of a broad range of mechanisms by which coastal organisms can maintain their biological processes in the face of ocean acidification. In this presentation, Dr. Bourdeau will talk about how the north coast of California, with Cape Mendocino at its dynamic center, provides a natural laboratory for studying the tolerance of marine organisms to ocean acidification.




February 22, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Friends of the Lost Coast


Online only