World of Discovery series returns

The World of Discovery series is back at the Delaware Museum of Nature and Science.

This spring, the museum will welcome scientists from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and Delaware Sea Grant to give an overview of their scientific area of interest.

Wednesdays, March 8, April 12 and May 10 | 7 p.m.

Building the Future: Climate Change Adaptation Visions

Wednesday, April 12 | 7 p.m.

Dr. A.R. Siders is director of the Gerard J Mangone Climate Change Science and Policy Hub at the University of Delaware, and faculty in the Biden School of Public Policy, Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, and the Disaster Research Center. Her research focuses on climate change adaptation decision-making: how communities and governments make decisions about where, when, and how to adapt to climate change. She has recently worked on a Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative, to review adaptation efforts around the world, and as a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report and the U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Adaptation to climate change has, to date, generally sought to maintain the world as it is through small, incremental changes to business-as-usual. But these small changes are likely not enough to deal with future climate change.  Instead, future adaptation could involve radical shifts in society and socio-ecological systems, but what are the pros and cons of such transformations? What does fair, equitable, or just adaptation involve and is it possible? Dr. Siders will describe emerging dilemmas in the debate about adaptation justice and suggest pathways to envision a broader range of futures we can choose. 

Building the Future: Ocean Literacy

Wednesday, May 10 | 7 p.m.

David Christopher, marine education specialist with Delaware Sea Grant, will give a talk on Wednesday, May 10, giving a broad overview of ocean literacy. Ocean literacy is an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. The Ocean covers over 70% of our planet. It provides food for much of the world’s population, helps regulate the world’s climate, and provides most of the oxygen we breathe. However, the ocean is facing numerous challenges from pollution, marine debris, climate change, and more. Understanding the Ocean and its systems is important to addressing the challenges facing the ocean today and making informed choices about the Ocean in the future. In this session, participants will be introduced to the Ocean Literacy Principles and the Fundamental Concepts and learn how Ocean Literacy is being used to expand the public’s understanding of the Ocean.

Previous events:

Greenland’s Glacier-Driven Ocean Circulation

Wednesday, March 8 | 7 p.m.

Andreas Muenchow, professor in the University of Delaware School of Marine Science and Policy, will talk about his work researching the physics, climate, and earth history of Greenland where tidewater glaciers melt and retreat rapidly as they interact with a dynamic and warming ocean. Muenchow spent more than 365 days sailing the oceans off North-West Greenland over the last 25 years, most recently in 2021 with the Danish Navy and collaborators from Denmark. During his time aboard the Danish research vessel, Muenchow used data from NASA’s Ocean Melts Greenland initiative that dropped ocean probes from an airplane into the ice waters off coastal Greenland to measure ocean temperature and salinity. Muenchow will talk about how Greenland’s coastal glaciers melt, shrink, and add to the globally rising sea level, drive local ocean currents that move icebergs around, and how the glaciers’ melt is cold fresh water while the adjacent ocean is both salty and warm.

Muenchow is a sea-going physical oceanographer whose puzzles range from the physics of river discharges in Argentina, Siberia, and Delaware to ice-ocean interactions and glaciers off northern Greenland and Canada. He also dabbles in statistics, ocean color remote sensing, computer modeling, and writing.