On April 20th Smith Lab members Susan Kram, Molly Gleason and Jill Harris and Sandin Lab member Lindsay Bonito attended Birch Aquarium’s Party for the Planet. Party for the Planet was a family-friendly event in which Birch Aquarium recognized Earth Day through hands-on activities, scientific exploration and crafts.
Smith & Sandin Lab members joined the event representing Scripps Researchers, and were able to share their knowledge of coral reefs and ocean acidification with the public. For the coral reef table, lab members brought coral skeletons, beautiful images of Hawaiian and Central Pacific coral reefs and tools used to conduct underwater experiments.
The ocean acidification table included a demonstration of how CO2 affects seawater pH. Aquarium guests were asked to blow bubbles into a mason jar of seawater, and using a pH probe and meter they could watch the pH in the seawater drop as they continued to blow bubbles – demonstrating how the CO2 from their breath affected the seawater pH. The pH probe used was the same one that is used in Smith Lab ocean acidification experiments, demonstrating to the public what type of tools Scripps Researchers use. Overall the event was highly successful and Smith and Sandin lab members were able to reach discuss their research with over 100 guests.
Written by: Susan Kram