Possible talks by the Science Officer (under construction)

Here we describe possible talks of a natural history nature that might be presented to passengers of a cruise ship.  The aim would be to stimulate interest in the destinations that the cruise was visiting and also to increase understanding of the ocean and atmosphere through which the ship was passing.  Any scientist , depending on their expertise, would naturally have a different set of talks that they might feel are important.  The goal would be to develop a set of talks that most passengers would likely find interesting (subjects they think they already know something about) and talks on subjects most passengers aren’t even aware of, but that they will find interesting.

The relevant talks would vary with the cruise itinerary.  A talk on the formation of fjords wouldn’t be too relevant to a Caribbean cruise.  And a talk on hurricanes wouldn’t be relevant to cruises in the Baltic Sea.

Below is a first pass of plausible topics for talks for a few parts of the world where we have been (and some we haven’t).

  1. Pelagic birds you are likely to see
  2. The structure of the ocean and ocean circulations
  3. Tropical weather and climate
  4. Identifying marine mammals and their natural history
  5. The Earth during the last Ice Age

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Cruises in the Tropical Pacific

  1. The formation of Atolls
  2. Plate Tectonics of the Pacific region
  3. Coral reef environments
  4. El Niño and the climate of the Pacific Ocean

Cruises around Australia and Indonesia

  1. Plate tectonics 101
  2. Volcanic features of Indonesia
  3. The flora of SW Australia (for Albany and Perth stops)
  4. Overview of Australian birds
  5. The Wallace Line
  6. Sea level during the last Ice Age

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Cruises to Norway, Iceland and the Baltic Sea area

  1. Glacial landforms and fjords
  2. The flora of Scandinavia
  3. The Aurora, the midnight sun, and the polar night sky
  4. The high latitude Atlantic ocean, icebergs and arctic ice

Alaskan cruises

  1. Glacial landforms and fjords
  2. West Coast Rainforests
  3. Marine mammals of the Alaskan coast
  4. Birds along the Alaskan coast

Mexico and Central America

  1. Climate of Central America and Mexico
  2. Natural environments of the region
  3. Geology of Central America and Mexico

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The Caribbean Sea region

  1. Hurricanes and their impact
  2. Geology of the Caribbean
  3. Ocean circulations and climate of the Caribbean
  4. The climate of Caribbean islands (dry and wet sides etc)

 

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Cruises to Antarctica

  1. The formation of glaciers, fjords and icebergs
  2. The difference between the North and South Poles
  3. Wildlife of the Antarctic

Cruises in the Mediterranean

  1. The oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea (salinity, the straights of Gibraltar and more)
  2. The climate and flora of the Mediterranean (origin of the western diet staples)
  3. Plate tectonics and the volcanic landscapes of the Mediterranean (Vesuvius, Stromboli, Etna and Thera)

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