Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Ocean Systems
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Introduction to GEOTRACES
Presented by Dr. Ben Twining and Dr. Phoebe Lam - Thursday, April 30, 2015

To open the GEOTRACES webinar series, the presenters provided a broad look at how trace metals’ distributions are used to understand the ocean's past, present, and future. Extraordinarily difficult to measure accurately, trace metals play key roles in the ocean environment. As nutrients, some trace metals are necessary for photosynthesis. Other trace metals are toxic, even at tiny concentrations.

The GEOTRACES program is designed to measure the sources, sinks, and cycling of trace metals. Accomplishing this objective takes a high level of international coordination and collaboration. As a result, there have been significant leaps in mapping trace metals worldwide. These data are openly shared by the program, most notably the GEOTRACES Intermediate Data Product 2014. Learn more about accessing these data by clicking here.

Webinar Archive

You can watch the archived video of the webinar below. Below the video are the concept maps that were presented, so that you can follow along with the video.

Click here (PDF, 81 KB) for a transcript of the Q&A portion of this video.

Concept Maps

This webinar contained two concept maps. To view any map in full screen, click on the blue wrench and select Open Full Map Viewer. Click on the concepts to access additional resources embedded in the map. To save this map to your CLIMB account, click the blue wrench in the upper left corner and select Copy Map to My Maps.

Why Do We Care About Trace Metals in the Ocean?

Ben's concept map addresses how trace metals can be natural or human-derived. The role of trace metals -- which can act as nutrients, toxins, proxies, and tracers -- is discussed.

How Do We Determine and Understand the Distribution of Trace Metals in the Ocean?

Phoebe's concept map addresses the factors that influence the distributions of trace metals, including sources/sinks and internal processes. An overview of the global GEOTRACES program is provided including the core principles of avoiding sample contamination, having consistent measurements, and sharing data.


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About the Presenters

Phoebe Lam 

Phoebe Lam is an Assistant Professor in the PBSci-Ocean Sciences Department, Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Science from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in Geosciences from Princeton University. Her research interests include in the role that marine particles play in the biogeochemical cycling of major and minor elements in the ocean such as carbon, iron, and other trace elements.

Ben Twining 

Ben Twining is the Director of Research and Education at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine. He received a Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from Stony Brook University and an A.B. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University. His research interests focus on the interactions between metals and planktonic organisms in marine and aquatic environments.