IBGSA held a screening of Chasing Coral, followed by a panel discussion on October 3 at the LaSells Stewart Center.

Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called “coral bleaching”—a sign of mass coral death—has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater.

Enter Jeff Orlowski, director of Chasing Ice, which created irrefutable, visual proof of the melting ice caps. Orlowski’s next project is similarly evidentiary and powerful. Chasing Coral taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense, and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won’t have audiences sitting idle for long.

This film is a breathtaking depiction of what is happening below the surface of our oceans. Scientists here at OSU are bringing the documentary to campus in hopes of engaging the public and having discussions about what people can do to help.

In addition to the screening, we hosted a panel of five scientists from OSU who discussed their research interests, answered questions, and discussed what they think the future holds for these ecosystems. Following the panel, we held a short reception for guests to talk one on one with our panel, as well as learn more about our panelists’ research labs.

Our Panelists included:
Dr. Nathan Kirk - Coral Ecology
Dr. Rebecca Vega-Thurber - Coral Microbiology
Dr. John Parkinson - Coral Restoration
Dr. Kirsten Grorud-Colvert - Coral Management
Dr. Eli Meyer - Coral Genomics

 
Read more our Facebook page about this thought-provoking event. 
 
Photo courtesy of Shumpei Maruyama