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Scuba Science 2 - Shoulders and Nature: A Fragile Alliance in Underwater Science

Paul K. Dayton Scripps Institution of Oceanography We are here because we love nature and have enjoyed careers doing scuba-based science. I offer a very personal account of my own growth as a diving ecologist and research in kelp forests and Antarctica. I will emphasize the importance of building on the past and acknowledge the intellectual giants whose generously offered shoulders defined my perception of underwater science. My list is short and personal, and each of you will have different giants. I think it is important to acknowledge this debt as well as to remember that we have the same responsibilities to the next generation. I am concerned about a strong trend to bring nature into the laboratory and model it rather than actually experience and respect nature herself. Today young scholars are asked to study ecology without any sense of place or any understanding of the actual organisms living in real environments characterized by their important life histories. The intuitive sense of place so very important for ecological understanding must come from personal experience. I worry that many young scientists are missing the opportunity to develop a sense of place of the underwater world and urge that we make a bigger effort to get young scientists into the water and teach them about the fascinating relationships in need of research. Recorded on 05/24/2010 at 9:10 am ET
Length: 13:01

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