Date: February 20, 2014 Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-475-9034
The National Park Service Outer Banks Group invites the public to a Know Your Park citizen education program presentation Sargassum on the Edge of the Gulf Stream, by Dr. Lindsay Dubbs. This presentation will take place at the Community Center in Ocracoke, NC on Wednesday, February 26at 7:00 p.m. and at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, NC on Thursday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m.These presentations are free and last approximately one hour.
Sargassum isa large algae that provides important habitat in ocean waters for numerous species including bacteria, fungi, invertebrates, fish, and sea turtles.The Sargasso Sea, found at the center of the Atlantic Ocean, contains floating islands of Sargassum, which create safe havens for baby sea turtles, many species of juvenile fish, and a number of other marine life forms that have adapted so well in these floating masses. There is a strong connection between the healthy biodiversity of marine life seen off the coast of North Carolina and this ocean macro algae.
Doctor Dubbs is part of a team studying the distribution of Sargassum in the waters along the western wall of the Gulf Stream. Her research seeks to understand more about the nutrient cycling and habitat roles that Sargassum plays in the open ocean environment. Her presentation will provide general information about Sargassum and then explain her research objectives, methods, and preliminary results.
Dr. Dubbs is a research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill, a research associate for the Renewable Ocean Energy Program at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, and the associate director of the Outer Banks Field Site. She received a Ph.D. and M.S. in environmental science from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill and a BS in biology and environmental studies from Tufts University. Her research interests include biogeochemical processes that influence climate; the relationship between science, management, and policy; and the ecological and environmental impacts of ocean energy generation.
Due to bad weather in January, the Algae Invasion presentation with Dr. Nathan Hall was postponed. The National Park Service is coordinating with Dr. Hall to reschedule this presentation in March.
The National Park Service Outer Banks Group Know Your Park citizen science program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring national park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.Lectures are held on a variety of topics including geology, history, ecology, biology, archaeology, and engineering.
Did You Know?
In the 1700s, Ocracoke Inlet was one of the busiest inlets in the East. It was one of the few navigable waterways for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, Edenton or New Bern.
It was here that Blackbeard the pirate found the inlet's heavy shipping traffic ripe for easy pickings.