Former Team Members
I am a MIT/WHOI Joint Program student in the Marine Geology and Geophysics department and I am interested in understanding the climate system and how it is changing due to global warming. I want to share my love for science with others because I think that scientific literacy is crucial in our technological society and that scientific findings should be shared with everyone. With BIG I hope to help our scientific community hone their skills to communicate with each other and with those outside of academia.
At WHOI, I research the marine carbon cycle, specifically the movement of organic carbon from rivers and the ocean surface into the deeper ocean. My research approach employs several techniques in analytical chemistry, and field work in the Amazon River Basin and Southern Ocean.
I have always found it challenging to convey the marine carbon cycle, and its connection to the climate system, to audiences outside my field. The challenge is exacerbated by the remoteness of this research, as well as the scale at which scientists think, often smaller or larger than common human experiences. As a training scientist, I seek opportunities to develop my communication skills to help inform these audiences about global environmental change. Engaging in broader dialogue, in turn, offers unique opportunities for scientists to learn about the greater value of their research to human communities, as well.
Former Media Director
I am a MIT/WHOI Joint Program student in Biological Oceanography and am intererested in problems at the intersection of public health and water resource management. My research focuses on toxic or harmful algae – the species responsible for harmful algal blooms (“red tides”) – and in particular how warming temperatures will affect bloom initiation. I believe it is increasingly important for scientists to actively facilitate public understanding of science. My primary objective in BIG is facilitating a link between the MIT and WHOI science and broader audiences.
Julie van der Hoop
Former Media Assistant
In 140 characters: As Media assistant, I help share BIG's message and spread word of our events. I study marine mammals and human impacts on their populations.
I am a Ph.D. student in the Marine Geology and Geophysics department. I am also an avid linguist and traveler, who seeks to promote communication across cultural boundaries. I love science, because it asks us to learn from the world as it is, rather than how we want it to be. In my broader impacts activities, I strive to capture and communicate the spirit of being a scientist in addition to the relevant facts and theories. After all, imagination and creativity are as much a part of science as observation and reason.
At the moment, I am studying mineral deposits associated with deep sea hydrothermal vents. By examining the chemistry and isotopic ratios of these minerals, I intend to learn more about the unique environments in which they occur. If successful, this research will eventually be used to help explore for new mineral and biotechnology resources.
In my roles as scientist, policy adviser, and exhibition producer over the past six years, I have been working to advance science literacy, civic engagement, and environmental sustainability across the nation. I am interested in broader impacts activities, because these activities help me keep an eye on the big picture − how science and society influence one another. I am particularly interested in using art and social media to engage public in a dialogue about science.
I received my Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from MIT and WHOI. My doctoral research centered on the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on coral reefs. I am currently a NOAA Sea Grant Policy Fellow serving as Ocean Policy Adviser in the office of Congressman Sam Farr, Co-Chair of the House Ocean Caucus.
Frequently tapped to speak on science communication and interdisciplinary collaboration, I have presented at Harvard University, Boston's Museum of Science, UMass Dartmouth, the New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative Ocean Literacy Summit, and the Mass Audubon Educator’s Meeting.