Ocean180 & the Amazon River Plume

Here is the story of two microscopic creatures, caught between life and death, who together bring life to an entire ocean.

That’s the opening of the video abstract that I recently put together with Dr. Laurence Yeung and Nic Perez for the Ocean180 Video Challenge – an outstanding new contest for ocean scientists to bring their academic work to a middle school audience.  The basis of the video is Laurence’s 2012 paper, Impact of diatom-diazotroph associations on carbon export in the Amazon River plume (.pdf here), which takes a look at a pair of microorganisms that help each other get what they need to survive.  By working together, they turn a barren part of the Atlantic ocean into a buffet.  I had a great time animating to Nic’s epic voiceover, and I learned a ton about an entirely new field – plus, we took 2nd place in the contest! Definitely an all-around win for everyone.

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