Life Below Water
Northwestern Experts and Initiatives
Patricia Beddows is the Director of the Environmental Sciences Program, Assistant Chair, and Associate Professor of Instruction in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern. Beddows’ research examines karst, caves, and the paleoenvironmental records of sea level, climate change, and landscape evolution. Her applied research examines water resource management, remote mapping of hydrological resources, biological interactions at the ecosystem to the bacterial level, geo-archaeology, and water born contaminant and disease vectors. Beddows is also the creator of the Cave Pearl Project, which is focused on the development of a submersible data logger system for long term environmental monitoring projects.
A Northwestern University-led team has developed a highly porous smart sponge that selectively soaks up oil in water without harming marine life or further damaging the environment. Typically, oil spill clean-up is an expensive and complicated process, but the smart sponge is able to absorb more than 30 times its weight in oil, and can be used to inexpensively and efficiently clean up oil spills while also being reused many dozens of times without losing its effectiveness. The research was led by Vinayak Dravid, who is the Abraham Harris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering.
The Ocean, the Atmosphere & Our Climate (106-0-01)
Most of our planet's surface is blanketed by ocean. The dynamic nature of the oceanic environment and how it influences the Earth as a whole will be explored in this course. The interconnectivity of ocean characteristics (chemistry, physics, geology, biology) will be stressed.Explore the course