Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Ocean Systems
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 Dr. Peter Girguis
Dr. Peter Girguis
Dr. Peter Girguis, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences, Harvard University, has been a long-time collaborator with COSEE-Ocean Systems. He has been a featured speaker in educator workshops at two National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conferences (Boston, 2008 and New Orleans, 2011) and for the New England Ocean Sciences Education Collaborative (NEOSEC) "Broader Impacts" workshop in March 2011. Dr. Girguis also presented an Invited Paper, Capitalizing on Education and Outreach Expertise to Broaden Impacts, at the American Geophysical Union Fall 2010 meeting.

In Summer 2010, Dr. Girguis helped COSEE-OS pioneer webinars as a delivery mechanism for ocean sciences content. His was the second installment of the Research-based Online Learning Event (ROLE) model webinar series that features researchers using interactive concept maps during live events. The concept maps are loaded with educational assets from the COSEE-OS database - including images, videos, news items - that webinar participants can use in their own educational practices, presentations or for their own learning. The map created by Dr. Girguis is embedded below and the ROLE Model Webinar event: Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems is archived online.

Dr. Girguis's concept map reveals the secrets of the deep and strange hydrothermal vent ecosystems found in the Juan de Fuca Ridge area (off the coast of Washington/Oregon). This map was created just after he returned from a month-long research voyage to the vent fields where he and his colleagues were conducting physiological experiments on tube worms. Using specialized equipment (including trips in the famous Deep Submergence Vehicle ALVIN), the scientists were able to gain more insight into an ecosystem which is dependent entirely on chemicals being spewed from geysers in the sea floor. No light reaches these depths, so the process called "chemosynthesis" (carried out by bacteria) forms the energy base for the food chain. His map outlines the primary productivity of and symbiotic relationships between the giant tube worms and their small but powerful chemosynthetic "buddies."