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iLabs: Bioluminescence, Team ORCA and a Dr. Edith Widder “Film Festival”!

September 2, 2012

We are continuing on with our study of and classes in bioluminescence. We did a short class on the topic for Homeschool Day, and will be doing more classes on the topic, starting in October.

For all our Bioluminescence and oceanography fans, we are going to showcase another researcher who has devoted a career to the topic of bioluminescence. (In an earlier post we focused on Dr. Michael Latz of Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Today we are focusing on Dr. Edith Widder .

She was featured on PBS’s NOVA, has a bio on Wikipedia, and is described at the ORCA website(Ocean Research and Conservation Association) as “uniquely suited to apply scientific methods to furthering marine conservation effort.”

A colleague describes her in this way in her TED Talks bio:

“One of the remarkable things about Edie is that, for a biologist, she is the most technologically savvy scientist I’ve ever come across.”  (Bruce Robison, a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California)

Based on her work with ORCA, in 2006 she was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.”  This prestigious fellowship:

“…is a five-year grant to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. The fellowship is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their creative activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements. There are no limits on age or area of activity. Individuals cannot apply for this award; they must be nominated….The people we seek to support express many other important qualities: ability to transcend traditional boundaries, willingness to take risks, persistence in the face of personal and conceptual obstacles, capacity to synthesize disparate ideas and approaches.”

ORCA’s bio adds: “Her long track record of pioneering work in marine exploration and conservation includes inventing new ocean technologies, discovering new species and ocean phenomena, and founding ORCA to preserve the ocean she loves.”

So without further delay, here are some videos of Dr. Widder done at different points in her career, which give a very good summary of the researcher, and her work.  Enjoy the film fest!

For a good introduction of oceanographer, Edith Widder and her bioluminescence research:

A good summary of where Edith Widder’s career has taken her, leading up to her work with ORCA:

Here is a good summary of Edith Widder’s latest endeavors to clean up ocean sediments, which can be a storehouse of water pollutants:

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