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The Annapolis Cafe Scientifique, where science is always on the menu, meets on the last Thursday of each month, (except November and December), at 6:30 PM, at the 49 West Coffeehouse, Wine Bar and Gallery. Location information and directions to the 49 West Coffeehouse can be found at: www.49westcoffeehouse.com. Good food and drink are also on the menu!
Title: Forty Years of Change: A Seabird Responds to a Melting Arctic
Presenter: George Divoky, Arctic Seabird Ornithologist, PhD, Arctic Biologist, founder of Friends of Cooper Island
Abstract: George Divoky has studied seabirds in arctic Alaska since 1970 and has participated in studies and assessments related to oil and gas development and regional climate change. Since 1975 he has maintained a continuing study of Black Guillemots on Cooper Island, Alaska, in the western Beaufort Sea. The study is one of the longest longitudinal bird studies in the Arctic and its findings on the consequences of decadal-scale reductions in snow and sea ice provide some of the best examples of the biological consequences of climate change. See link about his work here: e’s watching the world melt
About the Speaker: George Divoky began his studies of seabirds in the summer of 1969 when, as part of a Canadian Wildlife Service program, he conducted shipboard observations off Newfoundland on Bedford Institute of Oceanography research vessels. That experience led to him becoming a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution in 1970 where he was selected to participate in the U.S. Coast Guard’s initial surveys of the Beaufort Sea adjacent to the newly-discovered Prudhoe Bay oil fields. Since then he has studied Alaskan seabirds annually, working on a diverse group of conservation issues including the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, oil and gas exploration of the outer continental shelf, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and regional climate change. In 1975 he began a study of Black Guillemots, a diving arctic seabird, on Cooper Island, Alaska, 35 km east of Point Barrow, Alaska, that he still maintains. The four-decade study is one of the few long-term seabird studies in the Arctic and its findings on the consequences of recent snow and sea ice reductions provided some of the first examples of the biological consequences of climate change.
Dr. Divoky’s research was featured in a cover story in the New York Times Magazine entitled “George Divoky’s Planet,” in the PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers program “Hot Times in Alaska” with Alan Alda, and on ABC Nightly News and Nightline. He has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, and has been interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. His research and experiences on Cooper Island were featured in a play about climate change, Greenland, staged by the Royal National Theatre in London in 2011. “Polar Sea”, a 10-hour documentary addressing changes in the Northwest Passage featured his work in the episode examining climate change in Alaska. The documentary aired in Canada, France and Germany in December 2014 and is available online in those countries. U.S. distribution is anticipated in the near future.
Divoky was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Michigan State University and a doctorate from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. When not in the field on Cooper Island from June through early September each year, he lives in Seattle, Washington. More information is available at the Friends of Cooper Island website – cooperisland.org