Nancy Rabalais: The "dead zone" of the Gulf of Mexico
Nancy Rabalais - Marine scientist, educator
Nancy Rabalais has studied coastal marine ecosystems for more than 40 years now and loves to share that knowledge. Full bio
of one of the largest rivers in the world:
as the state of Minnesota,
into the Gulf of Mexico.
to what is in that water.
molecules, nitrogen and phosphorus.
of areas called dead zones.
eat the phytoplankton,
large fish eat the small fish
nitrogen and phosphorus right now,
falling to the bottom
that use up the oxygen.
from the surface of the water,
and drags for 20 minutes
if this area is 8,000 square miles big?
a decision to go further,
to high-tech equipment
of the research vessel,
and many more things.
all the way to Texas,
every now and then and test their waters.
of everything that's less than two,
for when the fish start to leave the area.
that we have to deploy offshore
of low oxygen or high oxygen.
there's a lot of fish.
the barracuda that I saw one day.
and I went this way with my camera.
you start to see fewer fish.
there's no life swimming around.
between the middle of the United States
and the phosphorus goes on the land
nitrogen in the water
and more sinking sails and lower oxygen.
it's been caused by human activities.
and prairie potholes
this type of agriculture
maybe precision fertilizing.
which has much longer roots
and keep the soil from running off.
our neighbors to the north,
with water quality in the Gulf of Mexico?
to their own backyard.
in Wisconsin in the summer
and smells like it,
couple of summers ago
of this blue-green algae
couldn't use it for their drinking water
are having trouble with drinking water.
I publish my results,
I get citations of my work.
to do the research,
hopefully to make better decisions
is I brought in the media.
from the "Washington Post"
two inches above the fold.
the Gulf of Mexico looks like?"
there's the proof."
Senator Olympia Snowe from Maine
algal blooms in the Gulf of Maine.
is chase crabs around south Texas,
and Control Act of 1998.
the Snowe-Breaux Bill.
that we had a conference in 2001
the National Academy of Sciences
nitrogen and poor water quality.
was the former governor
when she peered at the audience,
"Surely she's looking at me."
of this thing being called New Jersey.
I just don't want to hear it anymore."
your nitrogen footprint.
every now and then --
nonethanol gas in
that can make a difference.
especially in the Midwest --
and how you can make a difference.
of agriculture in the US
and social will for that to happen.
we can translate the science,
a difference in our environment.
these dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico.
About the speaker:Nancy Rabalais - Marine scientist, educator
Nancy Rabalais has studied coastal marine ecosystems for more than 40 years now and loves to share that knowledge.
Why you should listen
Nancy Rabalais has worked in Louisiana ever since she got her PhD in 1983, studying aspects of marine ecology relevant to environmental health. As she writes: "I work on areas called 'dead zones' that are coastal waters lacking in oxygen in which animals such as fish, shrimp and crabs cannot live. I am also, since 2011, studying the long-term effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coastal waters and Louisiana wetlands.
"I fell in love with biology in the 8th grade and then marine biology in college. My education was not quite the typical 'academic' training. I worked my way through college, beginning at a two-year college, a regional university for my BS and MS, then worked at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas, for three years. My desire for further education sent me back to work on my PhD at The University of Texas at Austin. My first job as a PhD was at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, starting in 1983. I am now a professor and Shell Endowed Chair of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University."
Nancy Rabalais | Speaker | TED.com