French American Climate Talks on Ocean (FACT-O): Workshop on Sargassum

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As part of the French American Climate Talks on Ocean (FACT-O), the workshop on Sargassum will take place on January 18 and 19, 2018 in Galveston, Texas.

The critical evolution of massive landings of Sargassum over the past few years has raised concerns from economic and scientific standpoints. Several scientific initiatives in France and the USA were undertaken to understand the origins of those brown algae landings in unusual areas, forecast and model the travel routes of Sargassum patches, evaluate the impact of Sargassum overgrowth on marine ecosystems, as well as engineer the collection and the processing of Sargassum.

In order to share insights and approaches to the multiple issues of Sargassum and to encourage the coordination of French-American scientific collaborations, the Office for Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States, in partnership with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD) and Texas A&M University in Galveston (TAMUG), are holding a two-day workshop.

The workshop will gather marine biologists, oceanographers, algologists, physicists, satellite imaging, data and remote sensing scientists from prominent research institutions in France and in the United States. The main purpose of the workshop is to bring together scientists working on Sargassum from different perspectives in order to share expertise, develop mutual awareness and foster French-American collaborative research in this field.

Program

Thursday, January 18, 2018

09:00-11:55 | Session 1: "Sargassum in the field: species and forms"

Moderator

Frédéric Ménard, Director of the Scientific Department Oceans, IRD, France

Speakers

Thierry Thibaut, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Université Aix-Marseille, France
Brian Lapointe, Florida Atlantic University, USA
Amy Siuda, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA, USA
Jay Rooker, Marine Fisheries, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA
Gilbert Rowe, Marine Biology Department, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA

11:55-16:35 | Session 2: "Sargassum distribution: observation and modelling"

Moderator

Léo Berline, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Université Aix-Marseille, France

Speakers

Mengqiu Wang, College of Marine Sciences, University of South Florida, FL, USA
Anouck Ody, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Université Aix-Marseille, France
Léo Berline, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Université Aix-Marseille, France
Maureen Brooks, Center for Environmental Science, University of Maryland, USA
Thomas Linton, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA
Bruce Cook, Goddard Space Flight Center, MD, USA
Donald R. Johnson, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, The University of Southern Mississipi, MS, USA
Julien Jouanno, Laboratory of Space Geophysical and Oceanography Studies, Toulouse, France

16:50-19:00 | Session 3: "Impact and prediction of Sargassum landings on coastal ecosystems"

Moderator

Victor Viser, Department of Liberal Studies (Communication), Texas A&M University of Galveston, USA

Speakers

Brandon Hill, Shoreline Department for the City of South Padre Island, Texas, USA
Sandrine Pivard, Director of the Regional Activity Centre for the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife for the Wider Caribbean Region
Jacques Abe, Thematic Coordinator, Biodiversity, Habitat and Water Quality, Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (CCLME), Abidjan Convention, UN, Côte d’Ivoire

Friday, January 19, 2018

08:45-10:10 | Session 4: "Perspectives for future collaborations"

Moderator

Léo Berline, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Université Aix-Marseille, France

Speakers

Frédéric Ménard, Director of the Scientific Department Oceans, IRD, France
Thierry Thibaut, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Université Aix-Marseille, France
Antonietta Quigg, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA
Gilbert Rowe, Texas A&M University at Galveston, USA

10:20-11:05 | Closing remarks

Françoise Gaill, Former Director of Ecology and Environment Institute, CNRS
Patrick Louchouarn, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at TAMUG and Associate Provost at TAMU