On May 22 and 23, 2013, the College of Science at Northeastern University hosted “Sustaining Coastal Cities,” a conference on the critical role and fragile state of marine ecosystems.

The relationship between cities and their nearby coastal resources is at risk due to increases in temperature, sea level rise, natural disasters, ocean acidity, biodiversity loss, and environmental pollutants. The conference officially launched the Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative at Northeastern University, a cutting-edge science and policy center committed to generating research and developing solutions toward the sustainability of city coastal regions. This meeting brought together international experts who will focus on the general plight of marine ecosystems and the state of marine fisheries.

Dr. Sylvia Earle’s lecture, “Overview of Challenges Facing Marine Ecosystems” was the Burba Family Keynote Lecture.

Conference speakers:

  • Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library of Congress, and  first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine, is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and non-profit organizations
  • Larry Crowder, science director at the Center for Ocean Solutions; professor of biology at Hopkins Marine Station and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, both part of Stanford University
  • Steven Gaines, dean of the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara; former director of the UCSB Marine Science Institute
  • Stephen Hawkins, dean of Ocean and Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton
  • Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, inaugural director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, an institute dedicated to providing a vehicle for collaborative research, learning, engagement and advocacy in major global change issues

Moderated by Richard Harris, award-winning journalist and science correspondent for NPR

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