A Sea Change: SMM Adult Programs Evaluation
On November 4, 2010 The Science Museum of Minnesota, in conjunction with Fresh Energy, held a program about ocean acidification. The program included a dinner reception for VIP guests, a screening of the documentary film A Sea Change, and a panel discussion about ocean acidification. A Sea Change (http://www.aseachange.net/) is a feature-length documentary film about ocean acidification. A Sea Change documents Sven Huseby's worldwide search for more information about ocean acidification. Huseby, a retired history teacher, talks with scientists, policy experts, lawyers, business leaders, and people in the green power industry to better understand how and why ocean acidification is happening, its potential impacts, and what can be done to prevent further acidification that could have dramatic impacts on the ocean ecosystem. Huseby's narration is a running dialogue with his young grandson Elias, and he focuses parts of many of his interviews asking experts how they would talk about this topic with children. Ocean acidification is a by-product of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The ocean and the atmosphere exchange gases; this exchange has moderated the effects of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels. While this has slowed the rate of atmospheric warming, it is affecting the oceans by making them more acidic (carbon dioxide is a weak acid). A more acidic ocean is less hospitable to organisms that make their shells out of carbonate; this could have far reaching impacts on the entire ocean food chain. Despite the far-reaching consequences of ocean acidification, there is very little awareness of the topic. After the film Sven Huseby, star and co-producer of the film, Barbara Ettinger, director and co-producer of the film, J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director of Fresh Energy - a local organization, and Dr. Richard Feely from NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, fielded audience members' questions about ocean acidification.