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An Interview With Diara Spain, Ph.D

By Rachael Metzger, MSS Intern

Ocean acidification is an issue becoming apparent in the effects on both sea creatures and humans. Diara Spain, the Associate Professor of Biology at Dominican University, came to Marin Science Seminar to talk to us about her studies in marine invertebrates and the damage ocean acidification is causing them. 

To learn more about Diara Spain and what inspired her studies we conducted an interview:


1. How did you get interested in biology? Is there a time, event, 
or person in your life that inspired you to pursue the study? I've always been interested in biology, really science in general. I grew up in rural North Carolina and as a kid it was expected that you'd spend most of your free time outside playing with your friends and pets.  One thing that sparked my interest in marine organisms were the summer vacations at the undeveloped beaches in North Carolina. 
2. Why did you specifically decide to focus on functional morphology, locomotion in echinode…

Ocean Acidification: How the Ocean is Acidifying and Affecting the Organisms That Call it Home

By Zack Griggy, San Marin HS

             Pollution is a global problem. One way to find proof of this is to look to the seas. We all know that the oceans have suffered greatly from pollution, evidence of which can be seen almost anywhere, from areas suffering from oil spills to the huge cluster of garbage floating in the North Pacific Ocean. We also know that many aquatic species are dying and going extinct because of ocean pollution. However, oils spills and trash aren't the only causes. Another cause is ocean acidification, which is caused by air pollution.
             Ocean acidification begins with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is an essential part of photosynthesis in plants. However, it is also a greenhouse gas, and carbon dioxide emissions have become a global problem. Carbon Dioxide is one of the main contributors to both global climate change and ocean acidification. Carbon dioxide is emitted in huge quantities around the world. Part of these emissions are absorbed by…

Insidious Air: Defogging Air Pollution and its Pernicious Effects

By Zack Griggy, San Marin HS

We all know that smoking is harmful to us, but what if the very air we breathe also contains toxic chemicals? The truth is the air we breathe contains numerous chemicals that have harmful effects on both humans and the environment. As a result, the issue of pollution has been a very important and significant problem. It has driven us to invest in green fuels, manufacture in more eco-friendly ways, and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. However, the problem of air pollution still remains somewhat untouched. Although emissions have been significantly reduced from vehicles and manufacturing plants, the problem as a whole remains.  Air pollution is known to cause numerous issues for the environment and humans, but particulate matter and ozone pose more immediate threats to human health.
           Particulate matter consists of extremely small particles that are a result from burning and can have huge impacts on lung health. Particulate matter, if small enou…

Ocean Acidification and Exoskeletons

Marin Science Seminar for Teens and Community Presents
"Ocean Acidification and Exoskeletons" with Diara Spain PhD of Dominican University
Wednesday, March 9, 2016  7:30 - 8:30 pm Terra Linda High School, San Rafael
Come learn about ocean acidification and exoskeletons with Professor Diara Spain of Dominican University. Dr. Spain is Associate Professor of Biology at Dominican University, San Rafael. She earned her B.S. in Biology Education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently, her research focuses on the functional morphology and locomotion of invertebrates.


Ocean Acidification of Marine Invertebrates Teaser Trailer from Marin Science Seminar on Vimeo.

A teaser trailer for the presentation that will take place on March 9th, 2016 at Terra Linda High School, room 207. by MSS intern, Camden Pettijohn (Terra Linda High School)
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