The GMGI Science Hour with Dr. Edith Widder: A Warm Up

Known as: Deep-sea explorer, oceanographer, marine biologist, and co-founder of the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA)

Based out of: Vero Beach, Florida

What she does in 10 words or less: Determines what’s needed to preserve and protect our oceans.

Why what she does is important to you: Dr. Widder is focused on finding results-oriented, science-based solutions to ocean conservation challenges.  A specialist in bioluminescence (the light chemically produced by many ocean organisms), Dr. Widder has been a leader in helping to design and invent ways to gain access to some of the most uninhabitable parts of the ocean. Her designs have been used to help the U.S. Navy measure bioluminescence in the ocean (important information for keeping submarines hidden from above) and provide scientists with the ability to accurately measure light in the deep ocean.

Using these, as well as other technologies, Dr. Widder and the team at ORCA can detect a wide range of water quality parameters, both chemical and biological, critical to keeping our waters clean and habitats healthy. These systems report back to ORCA’s scientists and resource managers, so better solutions can be implemented against threats to healthy marine ecosystems.

What you’ll learn from the talk:  During the talk, viewers will have the incredible opportunity to witness extraordinary sights from the deep, rarely seen by the human eye. Experience the magic of giant squids, incredible light shows and more from Dr. Widder’s expeditions below the surface.

Through translating complex scientific issues into technological solutions and sharing stunning visuals, Dr. Widder will foster a greater understanding of ocean life, leading to a more effective and productive relationship that we all can have with the ocean.

Key Terms:

Bioluminescence – the production and emission of light by a living organism.

Submersibles – a submersible boat or other craft, especially one designed for research and exploration.

Twilight zone – the layer of water that lies 200 to 1,000 meters (about 650 to 3,300 feet) below the ocean surface, just beyond the reach of sunlight.

Ecosystem – a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.

Citizen Science – the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

Fun fact: In 2012, Dr. Widder, along with several other scientists, became the first team to ever film the giant squid Architeuthis in its natural habitat, using a camera that SHE designed.

When: Thursday, October 21st at 7:30pm on Zoom.  Register here.


This Science Hour is brought to you by our Event Sponsor: Engel & Völkers By The Sea, our Presenting Sponsors: the 1911 Trust, the James & Gale Bacon Family Trust, and Elizabeth Moore, and our Supporting Sponsors: Eppendorf and Norland Associates.