Acting U.S. Consul General Tom Edwardsen Visits BIOS

In late June, Acting U.S. Consul General Tom Edwardsen (right) visited BIOS for a tour of the Institute led by President and CEO Bill Curry (left). The two-hour tour gave Edwardsen an opportunity to learn about BIOS’s research and education programs. “BIOS is a shining example of what Bermuda and the United States, in private and public capacities, can do together,” he said.

Acting U.S. Consul General Tom Edwardsen visited BIOS on June 22 for a tour of the Institute led by President and CEO Bill Curry. The two-hour tour gave Edwardsen, who is expected to remain in his post until this summer, an opportunity to learn about BIOS’s research and education programs.

“I had a wonderful time touring and learning about BIOS’s important mission,” said Edwardsen, who was joined by Public Affairs Assistant Camille Haley of the U.S. Consulate. “The critical work done at BIOS helps us better understand our natural world and the impact of climate change in our oceans. Their data collection, educational partnerships, laboratories, and scientists are world class, contributing to knowledge and application of science globally. BIOS is a shining example of what Bermuda and the United States, in private and public capacities, can do together.”

“We were delighted to showcase our research and education programs for Acting Consul General Edwardsen,” Curry said. “This visit was an excellent opportunity to highlight BIOS’s role in regional and global climate change research, as well as our education programs that positively impact both Bermudian students and university-level students from abroad.”

During a tour of the Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory, zooplankton ecologist Amy Maas showed Edwardsen a preserved sample of zooplankton from off the coast of Bermuda. These samples are used to determine the range of sizes in the zooplankton as well as their biodiversity from depths of 0 to 3,000 feet (0 to 1,000 meters) using the ZooSCAN and molecular markers.

After a welcome and introduction from Curry, Edwardsen heard about BIOS’s university-level education and internship programs from Andrew Peters, associate scientist and director of University Programs. Kaitlin Noyes, BIOS director of education and community engagement spoke of the Institute’s local education and internship programs, including the suite of progressive learning opportunities known as Ocean Academy.

Ruth Curry, director of the glider program, had the opportunity to speak with Edwardsen about the Oleander Project, which leverages routine trips of the container vessel Oleander between the U.S. and Bermuda to collect valuable oceanographic data. She also shared information about the BIOS glider program and its work collecting high resolution measurements of ocean carbon cycle processes.

Zooplankton ecologist Amy Maas described ongoing research in the Invertebrate Zoology Laboratory. This included how novel technologies like the ZooSCAN, an automated imaging tool that houses a waterproof, flatbed scanner, are used to process large datasets to help researchers better understand the role of zooplankton in global oceanic biogeochemical cycles.

Camille Haley, Public Affairs Assistant of the U.S. Consulate (left), and Edwardsen stopped by the BIOS-operated research vessel Atlantic Explorer with Port Captain Rick Verlini to learn about science conducted aboard the ship by researchers at BIOS and from institutes around the world that are interested in studying the Sargasso Sea and North Atlantic Ocean.

The final stop of the day was a tour of the BIOS-operated research vessel Atlantic Explorer led by BIOS Port Captain Rick Verlini.

“The science that takes place aboard Atlantic Explorer is a large part of our mission at BIOS,” Verlini said. “The hard work of the ship’s crew and the Marine Operations Department keeps Atlantic Explorer available not just for BIOS scientists, but for scientists from all over the world that are interested in studying the Sargasso Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.”