ACER

Education and outreach products generated by the Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER).

GoMRI-Sponsored Special Issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education 5702

Outreach coordinators from Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) consortia partnered to produce a special issue of Current: The Journal of Marine Education, published by the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA). The GoMRI-sponsored special issue – titled “Special Issue Featuring the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative: Research Resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” Read More

Grad Student Flournoy Emphasizes the Importance of Student Exposure to STEM 5157a

Nikaela recently completed her doctoral studies in the University of Alabama’s Department of Biological Sciences and was honored as a GoMRI Scholar with the Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER). She continues her ACER research as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Alabama. Her Path Nikaela learned about the possibilities of scientific research as Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Consortium Education & Outreach Fact Sheets ACERLogo

The ACER fact sheet series focuses on the emerging research from our seven research groups. This series will include a total of 15 fact sheets over the course of two years (2016-2017) with each individual research group receiving two fact sheets covering their research and publications. These are an excellent classroom resource for science teachers on current Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Tool Talk Series Features Stable Isotope Analysis 4561

Consortium researchers use stable isotope analysis to determine stable isotope ratios in an organism’s tissues to reconstruct food webs in oiled and non-oiled coastal environments. Specifically, they collect blood and muscle tissue samples from mid-level and higher order consumers, like sharks, to find out if there was any effect of the oil on the consumer Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Highlights Nitrogen Cycling Group 4549

The ACER fact sheet series focuses on the emerging research from our seven research groups. This series will include a total of 15 fact sheets over the course of two years (2016-2017) with each individual research group receiving two fact sheets covering their research and publications. The Nitrogen Cycling research group investigates the processes that Read More

RFP IV Update: Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) Researcher John Valentine

The ACER objectives are: To assess how coastal ecosystem structure, as measured by multiple estimates of biodiversity, and functioning (its provision of valuable processes and services) have been affected by differential exposure to Deepwater Horizon oiling. To determine how the biodiversity of coastal ecosystems can buffer resistance and recovery from oiling. To determine the conditions of Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Tool Talk Series Highlights SCAT Maps 4059

A Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) map indicates the degree of oiling at a geographic location. SCAT teams survey shorelines to collect important data that will help them analyze the amount of necessary cleanup, choose cleanup techniques, and monitor clean up effectiveness. Read the full story here.

Fact Sheet: ACER Word Wednesday Series Discusses “Trophic Cascade” 3990

The recent article explains that changes to one level in a food chain can sometimes result in changes in other levels, called a trophic cascade. Trophic cascades can be top-down (changes in the top trophic level impacted levels down the food chain) or bottom-up (changes in the bottom trophic level impacted levels up the food Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Blog Explains Mass Spectrometry 3765

The entry explains that a mass spectrometer, or mass spec for short, has become an important tool in many aspects of science including genetics, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, geology and ecology. The mass spec is an instrument that tells us the masses of specific chemical elements in a sample. Briefly, a mass spec works by Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Launches Fact Sheets Series 3801

The ACER fact sheet series focuses on the goals and emerging research of the consortium and will consist of 15 total fact sheets, with two fact sheets per each of the seven ACER research groups discussing their research and publications. The first sheet, Introducing ACER, shares the importance of diversity and resilience to the consortium’s research. Read More

How Grad Student Seubert Interprets Gulf of Mexico Resiliency Using Predator Diet 3820a

Major environmental disturbances such as oil spills can alter a marine ecosystem’s structure and even cause species losses or additions in impacted areas – changes which may have long-term consequences for an ecosystem’s functions. Emily Seubert investigates the diets of marine predators in the northern Gulf of Mexico food web to better understand how the Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Blog Explores “Primary Production” 3779

When scientists consider ecosystems, you will more often hear the term primary production. What is the link between these terms? Are they the same thing? Why do scientists measure it? Photosynthesis is the process by which light energy is used to power chemical reactions that convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbohydrates. Here, light energy is Read More

Fact Sheets: ACER “Tool Talk” Series Tackles Gene Sequencing DNA

The article explains not only what gene sequencing is and how it works but also how scientists use it to identify and compare bacteria in sediment samples. Remember back in high school biology when you studied genetics and learned about DNA, nucleotides and gene sequencing? Join us for this week’s Tool Talk as we clear Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Sheds Light on Microplankton

The latest entry in the “Word Wednesdays” series discusses this class of organisms that includes both plant-like and animal-like creatures such as paramecium, amoebas, and foraminifera. ACER’s Microplankton sub-group, lead by Dr. Jeffrey Krause, is studying processes and interactions within the microplankton community and how they are affected by oil and dispersant in the water. Read More

Fact Sheet: What are Ecosystem Services? 2853a

In this installment of Word Wednesday by the Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER), we answer the question: What are ecosystem services? As humans, we sometimes underestimate the importance of intact and healthy ecosystems. Simply by their physical presence and normal day-to-day functioning, healthy, intact ecosystems benefit humans. These benefits are known as ecosystem services. For Read More

ACER Engages Local Teachers to Reach K-12 Students 2371

The Alabama Center for Ecological Resilience (ACER) Teacher Advisory Group is a team of local science teachers who will work with the consortium’s Educational Team to increase students’ interest in and understanding of the northern Gulf of Mexico. More Information: http://acer.disl.org/news/2016/02/02/working-with-the-experts/ The goals of ACER’s Education Team include communicating the importance of the northern Gulf of Mexico and Read More

Fact Sheet: ACER Launches “Word Wednesday” Series ACERLogo

Readers can now find updated to the consortium website each Wednesday discussing the meaning behind various terms and concepts that are important to ACER research. The first and most recent post focuses on the words “diversity” and “resilience.”   More Information on Word Wednesday.

Understanding Coastal Ecosystems Response to Environmental Stress Acer_Env_Stress_2193

ACER investigates biodiversity’s role in oil spill recovery Disturbances to coastal environments, such as storms and pollution, cause great concern as these areas are typically heavily populated, are home to important industries, and provide critical ecosystem services. Ecologists have debated coastal ecosystems response to disturbances for decades. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill focused this debate Read More