Coral reefs are dying out, and coastal communites will go with them

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A cruising stingray in the Cayman Islands. Photo shot by Marisa Haag.

Climate change is a complex, vast topic that stirs up mental images of melting ice caps and large factory smokestacks in the minds of many people. The constant ozone alerts, pictures of lonesome and starved polar bears, and videos of glaciers the size of Manhattan dropping off the North Pole are enough to scare anyone, except for the few critics and disbelievers. However, unbeknownst to most, an even more invisible side effect is shaking our world from the oceans up. Coral reefs are dying by the day, indirectly sending the world down a very dangerous path.

“The scale of the pollution of our oceans has become so massive that it needs to be addressed, along with issues such as climate change,” stated University of Denver freshman Caroline Field.

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From biology to scuba diving, Jim Fogleman is all about the ocean

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Jim Fogleman coming back from a dive.

Jim Fogleman, a professor of molecular genetics at the University of Denver and scuba instructor at A-1 Scuba & Travel Aquatics Center, has long been involved in biology and the sciences. His passion for scuba diving and teaching goes hand-in-hand with his knowledge of the ocean and coral reef ecology.

Fogleman’s collegiate education started in 1968, receiving a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico, then a master’s degree in Zoology from Colorado State University, and finally a doctorate in genetics from Cornell University. He took this knowledge and became an Assistant Professor at the University of Denver in 1983, working his way up to an Associate Professor, Professor and then Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, before relinquishing that position in 2007.

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D.Y. Begay discusses Navajo heritage, weaving a history

 

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D.Y. Begay answering questions after her speech. Photo taken by Marisa Haag.

On May 11, 2016, at 6:00 P.M., the Denver Art Museum hosted renowned Navajo weaver D.Y. Begay to speak on her artistic passion and history. Begay is known for her individual, colorful, and abstract woven landscapes. Born in Tselani, a rural area located within the Navajo Nation, Begay has been surrounded by weaving her entire life.

“I knew I had a great love for texture, colors and weaving at a very young age,” Begay said when she discussed her childhood. Continue reading

Skintight Outrage induces laughter and smiles

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The cast members of Skintight Outrage during “Lorraine.” Photo taken by Marisa Haag.

Every Wednesday night, University of Denver improv comedy group Skintight Outrage delivers an hour of hilarity, talent and laughter. Formed in 2011, Skintight Outrage consists of a group of around 10 students per show and performs various improv skits, inducing laughter and smiles from the crowd. There are tryouts to join, and University of Denver sophomore and Skintight Outrage member Claire Whitnah stated that she “used to go to the shows and they always made me laugh, so then I decided to try out and I made the team.” Skintight Outrage also travels around Denver for off-campus performances.

Their latest performance on May 4, 2016 at 9:00 P.M. in Lindsay Auditorium was no different. By the time the show had started, around 35 people had gathered in the auditorium, scattered around the front towards the stage. The audience was filled with excited collegiate students, with some professors and older crowd members chatting amiably with colleagues in the farther rows. More people trickled in over the hour, quietly ushering themselves into the front. Continue reading

The chain linking humans & the sea is breaking.

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A school of fish on a flourishing reef in a marine park off of West Bay, Grand Cayman. Photo by Marisa Haag.

To people living in landlocked areas, the ocean may seem like a far away and insignificant part of the world. The vastness of the deep blue seas and unexplored wilderness seems eternal and mysterious, existing day in and day out like it always has been and seemingly always will be. However, the future of the ocean is much more of a pressing and important matter, with the future of its existing directly impacting the future of mankind.

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Caroline Field, University of Denver freshman. Question: Do you believe the health of our oceans is a problem? Location and Date: Sturm Hall, University of Denver, Apr. 25, 2016. “Absolutely. I believe that the scale of the pollution of our oceans has become so massive that it needs to be addressed along with issues such as climate change.”

The ocean is a valuable resource, with many people and industries depending on it. According to the World Wildlife Fund, over 3 billion people depend on the ocean for their primary source of protein. Due to this great need, the ocean is often left with irreparable damage or deep scars. Certain species are overfished and overused, leading to mass extinctions and endangerments, most notably whaling through the 18th and 19th centuries, which had deep repercussions in whale populations worldwide in due to its thoroughness.

Most recently, fisheries and industry for highly sought-after fish such as Bluefin Tuna, Swordfish, and Chilean Sea Bass have collapsed due to overfishing, leading to desperate attempts from fishing companies to keep up their business. The term “fishing-down” is used to describe the companies’ attempts to go further out to sea in order to increase their catch, which is further devastating the populations of fish. Overfishing has lead to some populations dropping by nearly 90%, and devastating innocent bystanders in what is called “by-catch.” By-catch refers to the marine life caught in fishing trawls and nets other than the target species. The form of fishing that involves by-catch devastates reefs, which negatively impacts many different species and natural ecosystems. Continue reading