September 29, 2011

World Ocean Day

Early on in DC, (back at the beginning of June) World Ocean Day happened. On the metro, I passed Elliott Norse who is the President of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, and lectured to my Emerging Issues in Ocean Conservation course last semester, as well as Mike Sutton, the Vice President of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and boss of my boss's boss's boss. He's also my friend (o: . My point being, there were so many ocean conservation people in DC that day that I just happened to see 2 separate people that I knew who were there just for that occasion! After work, I went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History where National Geographic explorer, Enric Sala was giving a talk.

The coolest thing I learned in that talk was that in some 'pristine' (human-excluded) ecosystems, top predators dominate the scene--the opposite of how we tend to think of it. But that sort of makes sense, right? We're top predators, and we dominate! If we weren't around, other top predators could fill our shoes! The things lower on the food chain live shorter lives than top predators, but they reproduce quickly. Here's some of his talk, I hope you can hear it well enough. I put some subtitles on, but didn't quite get all of what he's saying. In the 2nd half, he's explaining (better than I can) why this phenomenon may be.

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