Free screening of award-winning documentary 'Chasing Coral' at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A free screening of the documentary "Chasing Coral" will be shown at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28, in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library on the Penn State University Park campus. This event is sponsored by the Center for Marine Science and Technology at Penn State.

"Chasing Coral" follows the journey of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers and expert marine biologists as they band together to discover why reefs are vanishing. With all the suspense and emotion of a box-office feature film, and breathtaking underwater imagery, this classic story of humanity versus nature will transport audiences to the front lines of a beautiful but fragile ocean world. The film won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and was created from over 500 hours of underwater footage. Watch the preview here.

A panel discussion by Penn State scientists will follow the screening, featuring:

— Michael Mann is a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State, and the director of the Earth System Science Center. He is an expert in using theoretical models to better understand Earth’s climate and the effects humans have on our climate. Mann has published multiple books on climate change, including a children’s book, and has testified before U.S. Congress to defend climate science.

— Iliana Baums is an associate professor of biology, and the Director of the Center for Marine Science and Technology at Penn State. She is an expert in molecular ecology and evolution of corals and advises managers and practitioners on coral conservation strategies. She has gone SCUBA diving on reefs all over the world, from Indonesia to the Galapagos Islands and the Florida Keys.

— Todd LaJeunesse is an associate professor of biology at Penn State. Originally from Maine, LaJeunesse is an expert in characterizing the diversity of micro-algae that live inside reef-building corals, as well as anemones and giant clams. LaJeunesse’s research has taken him all over the world, including Curacao, Palau, Taiwan, the Red Sea, Japan and more.

— Mónica Medina is an associate professor of biology at Penn State. She leads a multidisciplinary research group that examines how climate change alters the symbioses of corals and their bacterial and algal partners. Medina’s group is a key player in the Global Coral Microbiome Project, which examines the partnership between corals and bacteria from coral reefs across the globe.

— Roberto Iglesias-Prieto is a professor of biology at Penn State. Iglesias-Prieto previously was a full research professor of the Academic Unit of the Institute of Marine Science and Limnology of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Chair of the Centre of Excellence of Mesoamerica. He is an expert in the physiology and photosynthesis of corals. One of his main research objectives is to understand the effects of climate change (increases in temperature and acidification of the oceans) on coral reefs.

— Chuck Fisher is a professor and distinguished senior scholar of biology at Penn State. With more than 25 years of experience, Fisher is an internationally recognized expert on the biology of deep sea corals, mussels and tube worms. He has participated in 64 oceanographic expeditions as chief scientist, and has led five research cruises in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Last Updated February 19, 2018