We are last minute arrivals to the region of the Earth where life can be found and thrives: the biosphere. The 3.8 billion year history of the Earth shows to this day that life — particularly microbial — has been the consistent major contributor to building features of the biosphere, giving us rocky landscapes, myriad ecosystems, healthy soils, oxygenated air, and the cyclic flow of key elements.
Ecologists Doug Zook and David Morimoto examine how the biosphere is the story of connections and reciprocating systems over extraordinary long distances. Doug will share examples from the science known as “global ecology” and David will moderate the discussion.
Photo: Doug Zook
Resources from our speakers
National Geographic, a definition of the biosphere
NASA Earth Observatory
Nature, “African dust keeps Amazon blooming”
University of Maryland and Geophysical Research, “Massive Amounts of Saharan Dust Fertilize the Amazon RainforestMassive Amounts of Saharan Dust Fertilize the Amazon Rainforest”
US Geological Survey, “Iron oxide minerals in dust-source sediments from the Bodélé Depression, Chad: Implications for radiative properties and Fe bioavailability of dust plumes from the Sahara”
Stetson University Geology Research Dept., “Florida Formations: Shifting Sea and Sediment”
Science Director: Coccolithophore
BIO: Doug Zook
Doug Zook received his PhD in Ecology with particular focus on lichens from Clark University. He was selected and served on three occasions as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and Poland. At Boston University for 28 years, Doug with friend and esteemed colleague the late Lynn Margulis started the Microcosmos project in the late 1980s that helped to bring the importance of the vast microbial world into school curricula nationwide and overseas. As professor, he focused on teaching global ecology, symbiosis, and overseeing the preparation of over 400 students to become engaging science teachers. He has led field trips to the most biodiverse area of the Amazon in eastern Ecuador as well as to New Zealand and has given over 200 invited presentations, including at Oxford (UK), Krakow and Gdansk (Poland), Duesseldorf and Tuebingen (Germany), Barcelona (Spain), Puerto Rico, Auckland and NZ), Exploratorium (San Francisco), New Mexico, NYC Hall of Science, Ottawa (Canada), and New York Acadmy of Science. Doug has brought his Global Ecology Education Initiative and its unique “Calling Home” e-zine to UMass/Boston and its School for the Environment.
BIO: Dave Morimoto
David Morimoto is an ecologist, conservation biologist, and animal behaviorist by training. He has studied the effects of forest fragmentation on Ovenbirds in Massachusetts and performed basic bird inventories in the tropics, most recently on the Rupununi River in Guyana, South America. He is currently involved in urban bird research studying Cambridge birds and is working on the development of citizen science initiatives and the creation of a biodiversity map of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge and Watertown. Most recently, he has been studying the reforestation (that he calls reforestoration)of rice fields on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.
His areas of academic focus and expertise include: ecology, ornithology, conservation biology, and animal behavior. He is very interested in Complexity Science and in unifying principles of complex systems. His teachers have included visionary scientists Lynn Margulis (symbiosis in evolution) and Richard Forman (Landscape Ecology). David holds a BS from Stonehill College and a MA and PhD from Boston University.