WATER ROCKS! Whats New at the Aquatic Sciences Meeting

Mystery Sessions

Ever get those ‘end-of-the-meeting-blues’? Burnt-out on topical sessions? Or do you just want to try something a little different? If so, maybe we’ve got an answer for you!

One session at this year’s meeting will be devoted to a tasty smorgasbord of talks carefully assembled from some of the most innovative, integrative, and exciting abstracts to create stimulating pairings and groupings that address overarching themes of broad interest to limnologists and oceanographers alike. The trick is: you won’t know “who” or “what” until you arrive at the session! The regular sessions are great, but the some of the best talks this week will be in the Mystery Session!

  • Monday: 1:30-2:45 pm Eldorado Zia
    These talks cover a range of interesting places, theories, experiments, and new techniques!
    Key Words: Particles, Streams, Mass Spectrometry, Arabian Sea
  • Tuesday: 8:30 am-9:30 am, La Fonda La Terraza
    This session includes caves, whales, limnologists and cancer!
    Key Words: Economics, Subterranean Ecosystems, Tumors, Stable Isotopes
  • Thursday: 4:30 - 6:00 pm, Eldorado Sunset
    Find out what ’s new and exciting in regime shifts, carbon, large-scale science, Europa and the Grand Canyon!
    Key Words: Climate change, DOC, Denitrification, Astrobiology, Grand Canyon
  • Friday: 4:30 6:00 pm, La Fonda La Terraza
    This session convenes great talks discussing spatial scales from nanometers to megameters, and the dynamics of organic carbon from molecules to megafauna.!
    Key Words: Organic flux, DOC, Variability, Biocomplexity, Stromatolites, Growth Efficiency

Don't miss the awesome mystery talks from the outer limits of limnology and oceanography!

The Influence of Planktonic Form in Art and Design

The 19th century German scientist Ernst Haeckel’s (1834-1919) illustrations of plankton have inspired artists, architects and designers. His book Kunst Formen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature) is found in the library of many schools of art, less frequently in science libraries. There is, it would seem, something of a resurgence of interest in Haeckel and his work, along with a realization of the importance of plankton in our environment. It seemed opportune to take the occasion of a meeting in Santa Fe - a city renown for its art - as an opportunity to explore the impact of plankton shape and form in art and design.

The aim is to illustrate the scope of the influence of plankton form in art and design, to bring to the attention of marine and freshwater planktonologists the potential for collaboration with artists, and to use art, based on plankton, to attract the attention and curiosity of the non-specialist to this ecologically important, but not widely known, group of organisms.

We plan four events at the conference:

  1. Plankton as an Inspiration in Art
    A Plenary Lecture by David Thomas (Professor of Biogeochemistry, University of Wales, Bangor, UK) on “Plankton as an Inspiration in Art”. The lecture will take Poincaré’s postulate that there is beauty in nature because of the harmony in its component parts. It will illustrate this with Ernst Haeckel’s work and its influence in architecture and design, leading onto the recent work by the biologist Christian Hamm on the structural properties microscopic algae and the architecture of Frei Otto, famous for his organic structures. The talk will then consider the ways these organisms have excited the creativity in arts and crafts. It will conclude by highlighting how scientists and artists need the same skills to appreciate the complexity of the subjects they are trying to interpret.

    The lecture will be held at the Lensic Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, February 6th, starting at 7:30 pm, and will run for an hour. Seats are limited, and, as it is open to the public, you are advised to pick up tickets at the Lensic Box Office beforehand.
  2. Exhibition
    An Exhibition, which will explore artistic inspiration derived from plankton under a set of themes: i) Ernst Haeckel and his Influence, ii) Medusae as an Artistic Inspiration, iii) Art Scientists Saw in their Subject, iv) Plankton and the Decorative Arts and Crafts, v) Bioluminescence - Inspired by Fire, and vi) Plankton in Fiber.

    The first theme will look at art, contemporary to Haeckel, which derived from the drawings in Kunst Formen der Natur. The Art Nouveau movement was at its peak during Haeckel’s lifetime and the Art Nouveau artists, architects, and designers drew inspiration from Haeckel’s drawings.

    Medusae are featured in a second exhibit, which will compare the stunning glassware of the glass artist Dale Chihuly and the equally beautiful photographs by the Italian photographer Guido Mocafico – both are feasts for the eyes.

    Many biologists, as Haeckel, were talented artists and took inspiration from their subject and the exhibition will show the work of two watercolor artists (Alister Hardy and G.E. “Tony” Fogg) and a photographer (Hilda Cantor Lund), who used planktonic organisms as their subjects.

    The Arts and Crafts movement has taken inspiration from planktonic forms. On show, as images and originals, will be jewelry from Australia (Karin Beaumont), England (Sarah Parker-Eaton), Germany (Robert Kraus), and stunning “objets d’art” from the Welsh woodcarver Louise Hibbert.

    Plankton, as we are all too well aware, being for the most part microscopic are easily passed off as just “brown/green gunk”. One aspect of their behavior that is evident of the human scale and never fails to produce wonderment is bioluminescence. On display will be reproductions of paintings by two major American artists – Jackson Pollock (Phosphorescence) and Andrew Wyeth (Night Hauling), both of whom took inspiration from this phenomenon.

    Fabric is a seemingly unlikely medium for expression of the art from plankton, but on display will be two examples – a quilt based on a radiolarian designed and made by the Canadian quiltmaker Barbara West and an embroidery by the leading British fashion embroiderer Karen Nicol, commissioned for our exhibition by Shell (UK).

    We plan to show drawings by Holly Sumner of radiolarians and a beautiful video of the swimming of minute planktonic animals by the young Japanese scientist Ai Nihongi – accompanied by the coolest of jazz from her countryman Akira Sakata’s album “Silent Plankton.”

    The exhibition will be held from Tuesday, February 6th to Thursday, the 8th (9:30 am to 7:30 pm) in the Santa Fe Room in the La Fonda Hotel. On Tuesday and Thursday, the exhibition will be open to the public. Wednesday will be reserved for Conference participants and their guests.
  3. A Screening of the Remarkable Documentary Film "Proteus"
    “Proteus,” an animated documentary directed and produced by David Lebrun of Night Fire Films, which deals with the life of Ernst Haeckel. It was made over a 10-year period, some of it in Eastern Germany before the Berlin Wall was torn down.

    Proteus uses the undersea world to meditate on the troubled intersection of scientific and artistic vision. Ernst Haeckel found himself torn between seeming irreconcilables: science and art, materialism and religion, rationality and passion. The film weaves a tapestry of poetry and myth, biology and oceanography, scientific history, and spiritual biography. Goethe’s Faust and the alchemical journey of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner are part of the story, together with the laying of the transatlantic telegraphic cable and the epic voyage of HMS Challenger. The film is a parable of both the difficulty and the possibility of unitary vision.

    The film will be shown evenings at the Lensic Theater on Wednesday, February 7th and Thursday, February 8th, starting at 8:00 pm. The film runs for 60 minutes. As both performances are open to the public, it is probably wise to pick up tickets beforehand at the box office.
  4. Special Plankton as an Artistic Inspiration Session
    As part of the Poster Sessions on Wednesday, we shall exhibit artwork by plankton scientists in a special session Plankton as an Artistic Inspiration. On show will be:
    • Anita Alexander - Photography
    • Elizabeth Francis - Multimedia
    • Sheean Haley and Sonya Dyhrman - Multimedia
    • Fabrice Lizon - Painting
    • Kathy Mitchell - Ceramics
    • Lindsay Moore - Words/images collage
    • Dawn Moran - Multimedia
    • Jessica Muhlin and Julie Santos Poitras - Poetry
    • Valérie Pisani, Muriel Gout and Jacqueline Goy - Photography
    • Stephanie Wilson - Multimedia
    • Nivi Alroy, Itzik Rennert and Assaf Vardi - Visual art
    • David Thomas - Pen and ink drawings
    Along with the poster session will be a “happening” - Plankton B(a)looms – inspired by Andy Warhol’s Silver Clouds installation at The Andy Warhol Museum, in Pittsburgh. This event is organized for us by Lori Adornato, Heidi Souder, and Eric Kaltenbacher from the College of Marine Science at the University of Southern Florida. Come along, have fun, and if you have your kids with you bring them along too—they’ll love it. Details of time and location will be announced at the meeting.

Funding for the exhibition has been provided by the International Census of Marine Microbes and Agouron Foundation.

ASLO Goes Bowling

The meeting is winding down and you’ve got data overload big time! What better way to reset the brain for all the great Friday talks than to round up some friends and go bowling! Even if you aren’t a bowler come, have a beer, and watch the big Limnology vs. Oceanography bowl-off! ASLO’s going bowling Thursday night, starting at 9:00 pm at Silva Lanes Bowling Center, 1352 Rufina Circle in Santa Fe, 505-471-2110. You’ll need to provide your transportation to the alley, a bowling shirt, if you want, and you pay as you bowl. Two and four person teams can sign up at the ASLO registration booth until Monday evening at 5:00 pm. The bowl-off will start at 8:00 pm with the winning team and individual scores announced Friday morning! We may even round up some prizes!

Last Talk Lottery

Every meeting has to have talks on the last afternoon (after all, if it didn’t, then it wouldn’t be the last afternoon, would it?). But that doesn’t mean it has to suck to be assigned to one! In an attempt to honor and reward the organizers, speakers, and hard-core attendees involved in Friday afternoon sessions, ASLO 2007 will institute meeting-wide Last Talk Lotteries for all Friday afternoon sessions. Modeled after a successful pilot effort at ASLO 2005 in which 75 people were miraculously present at a 4:15 PM Friday presentation, organizers of Friday afternoon sessions will be provided with lottery tickets to hand out to attendees and with some prizes to award during a must-be-present-to-win drawing after the last talk. If you are lucky enough to be assigned the last talk on Friday in Santa Fe, be prepared to speak to the biggest crowd of your ASLO career. At ASLO 2007, giving the last talk ROCKS!


For a long time ASLO meeting attendees, presenters, and organizers have talked a good game about the need to give greater prominence to posters at our annual meetings. At Santa Fe 2007, we are DOING SOMETHING about it, by featuring an all-day Posterpalooza on Wednesday. Posters will be centralized, bringing us all together in a common location and providing a focused forum for the lively exchange of ideas that good poster sessions should provide. Food, an all-oceanographer band, and a Wednesday ban on lift-ticket sales to ASLO members will help ensure excellent attendance. At ASLO 2007, posters ROCK!


Showcase your research through photography!! We are currently compiling photos for a slide show that will run in the background during some of the events (e.g., the opening mixer) at ASLO Santa Fe 2007.  We think this will be a fun way to highlight all the various activities, locations, scientific approaches, and organisms that comprise the diverse professional lives of ASLO members.

Please visit http://www.aslo.org/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=515&thumb=1 and send us digital photos to demonstrate the many ways that WATER ROCKS, including photos of scientists in action, scenic lake/river/wetland/ocean shots, aquatic organisms, and any other water-related scenes.  Please bear in mind that: 1) the photos can be amusing and fun, but good taste should prevail; 2) submitters should have permission to show the picture from all individuals who can be recognized in each photo.

Kegs and a Band

Receptions featuring two bands will be held Monday and Wednesday evenings from 8:30-10:30 pm. Join us to enjoy Café Moca on Monday and Wagogo on Wednesday.

WATER ROCKS! Music: Please Make Suggestions

In keeping with the meeting theme, we want to feature some of the coolest water-related rock/pop music during various events. So, please help the coolness-deficient organizing committee by suggesting songs (cool ROCK songs, not some old stuff by Handel or something) that somehow relate to water (oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, etc) or the things that live in them (rock lobsters, etc). Send your suggestions via email to aslosantafe07@yahoo.com. Please put the song title and the group/artist in the subject line. At ASLO 2007, rock ROCKS!

Order your ASLO WATER ROCK! T-shirt

Every big rock event has a t-shirt. So, we bring you the Water Rocks! t-shirt! The shirt is based on the Water Rocks! poster design. Get one for everyone in your lab, and support ASLO while doing it—ASLO will receive 17% commission on every sale and proceeds will go to Student Travel Awards. To order your shirt, visit zazzle.com and search for “ASLO Santa Fe” (no quote marks) using the Find feature. Zazzle.com is an on-line custom t-shirt site where you can order your shirt in whatever color or style you wish.



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