2019 Plenary Speakers

Monday, July 22

Keynote Presentation


Bob Steneck, Professor of Marine Biology, Oceanography and Marine Policy in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences

Humans have affected the Gulf of Maine longer than most coastal areas of North America. Their impacts are accelerating as we see the decline of groundfish (including Atlantic cod) and the rise of lobsters (now North America's most valuable marine species). How do we manage this dynamic ecosystem as changes are accelerating and the sea rapidly warms?

Bob Steneck is a marine ecologist whose laboratories include coastal zones of the North Atlantic, Alaska and coral reefs of the Caribbean and Indo-pacific oceans. He has published over 200 scientific papers on topics including coral reefs, calcareous algae, lobsters, sea urchins, fish, historical ecology, marine ecosystem dynamics, global climate change, ocean acidification and the science of managing marine resources. His scientific publications have been cited over 33,000 times. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, A Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and was distinguished for his research by the Second International Lobster Congress.


Tuesday, July 23

Panel discussion about current issues


Andy Pershing, Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Jen Kennedy, Executive Director of the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation

Hattie Train, Student at the University of Maine School of Marine Science

Wednesday, July 24

Lightning talks

Highlights of the latest trends in marine science research

Dr. Larry Mayer and graduate students from throughout the region to highlight the work they are doing.

Stegner Lecture: O’Chang Studios: Communicating science with cartoons

Andy O’Brien and Hanji Chang, founders of O’Chang Studios and Puckerbrush Animation

When Andy O’Brien and Hanji Chang (O’Chang Studios) first uploaded a cartoon skit between two Mainers chatting about ice fishing, snowmobiling and “drinkin’ whatevah” six years ago, they never envisioned that Temp Tales cartoons would generate millions of views and a loyal fanbase. They thought to themselves, “what if we could use our cartooning skills to educate our fans and their kids about the threat climate change poses to our fisheries and coastal communities?” This presentation is their story about how they’ve turned dry, complex science into a fun little series of animations called “A Climate Calamity in the Gulf of Maine”.

The Stegner Memorial Lecture is named in honor of Dr. Robert Stegner, a pioneer in marine education who died shortly after he retired from teaching at the University of Delaware. Bob hosted one of the first meetings of marine educators that would become the National Marine Educators’ Association, and was a central figure in charting the course for what marine education would become. His efforts also led to the creation of project COAST, one of the first marine education curriculum projects. Over the years, this Memorial Lecture has evolved into a variety of presentations, including lectures, musical presentations, and visual displays.

Hanji Chang is an artist, teacher and animator. Andy O'Brien is a writer, voice actor and communications director for the Maine AFL-CIO. Together they are the co-founders of Puckerbrush Animation (formerly O'Chang Studio), an animation and design studio based in Rockland, Maine.

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