Second-grade students have completed their study of Antarctica in Science with impressive presentations of their research on penguins. This week, as a culmination of their unit of study, they had a special visitor from Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Distinguished Professor and Department Chair Oscar Schofield presented to students and shared his background and pictures from his experience as a biological oceanographer. Students were captivated and one even asked, "Have you ever seen a sea monster?"
Dr. Schofield replied, "Well no, but I have seen a great white!"
About Dr. Schofield: Dr. Schofield has worked throughout the world to better understand how the ocean drives the Earth's climate and chemistry to support productive ecosystems of unprecedented diversity. His motivation is based on, that despite centuries of exploration of the oceans they remain relatively unexplored with many of the most basic and fundamental questions unanswered. This reflects the difficulty in collecting data in a harsh and dangerous ocean; therefore throughout Oscar's career he has focused on developing new approaches that can collect data over ecologically relevant time and space scales. His efforts have spanned developing remote sensing algorithms to map biological patterns in the ocean from space, using the world's first science electro-optical seafloor to study coastal biogeochemistry, to the design of new biological sensors and development of new undersea robotic systems. These technologies are resulting in the deployment of ocean observing networks throughout the world, which represents the largest investments in ocean science infrastructure this century and Oscar has been, and is, central to ongoing efforts of the United States Navy, National Science Foundation, NASA, and NOAA. These academic interests fit well within many of the research and teaching efforts of IEOAS.