UCF Professor Hosts Science Cafe

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UCF Professor, Dr. Bohlen was the guest speaker at the Science Café on Wednesday, December 4th at Downtown Credo.

Café Scientifique, or Science Café, is a monthly gathering of scientific experts and interested lay community in a pub or other nonacademic setting. They explore the latest ideas in science and technology, using plain language. Admission is free, and you need no reservation—just come ready to listen and contribute.

Bohlen’s presentation centered on the Human Transformation of Global Elemental Cycles.  The rapacious human appetite for energy and food, accelerated by the industrial revolution, has transformed global elemental cycles. This transformation is altering our land, air and sea, with serious consequences for the entire global ecosystem. The Earth has moved into a new era, The Age of Humans, which some scientists have termed the “Anthropocene.” Human alteration of the earth can be viewed through many lenses, but nothing captures our predicament better than our transformation of global elemental cycles. Our impact on these cycles not only reflects human domination of the earth, but also exemplifies the challenges we face in meeting energy and food needs of a burgeoning human population sustainably.

He took the audience on a crash course through global biogeochemistry, showing how humans have altered global cycles of the major life elements: carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Along the way, guests discovered linkages between their local life and the global ecosystem. From global warming, to nutrient pollution of our coastal estuaries and springs, to the challenges of feeding the world, they walked away with a better appreciation for how we are transforming the earth, and what we need to do to create a more sustainable future.

For more information, please visit their website at www.cafesciorl.com.
Patrick J. Bohlen is Professor of Biology and Director of Landscape and Natural Resources and Arboretum at the University of Central Florida. He oversees landscape planning and operations for multiple UCF campuses, and directs research and educational initiatives that guide conservation and stewardship of natural resources. His research focusses on soil and ecosystem ecology, and has included projects ranging from the role of earthworms in carbon and nitrogen cycling in soils, to human impact on nutrient runoff and water quality in urban and agricultural environments.

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