Laura Rogers-Bennett: "California's Iconic Kelp Forests: You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone"

Fri January 20th 2023, 12:00pm
Event Sponsor
Hopkins Marine Station
Hopkins Marine Station

Dr. Rogers-Bennett will talk about the power of kelp forest surveys and quantifying the natural resource treasures we have in California’s lush underwater forests. Who would ignore the balance in their savings or retirement or account? How else will we know what the impacts of climate change are on our underwater kelp forests? She will discuss the value of Scuba-based long-term monitoring programs and satellite images for tracking changes in our marine environment. Future oceans are predicted to have more marine heatwaves, low oxygen events and more acidic conditions. Knowing what we had can help inform management actions and set restoration targets so that we can establish climate smart conservation strategies.

Dr. Laura Rogers-Bennett is a Research Associate with the Bodega Marine Lab, Coastal Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Davis and a Senior Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. She leads a team investigating marine ecosystem health, fishery management and marine conservation biology in a changing ocean climate. To accomplish this they use an interdisciplinary approach combining scuba, field, laboratory and quantitative modeling to examine questions related to marine heatwaves, ecosystem tipping points, conservation biology, fisheries sustainability and climate change. Dr. Rogers-Bennett has authored over 65 scientific publications and 12 book chapters. Her work has focused on restoration of the critically endangered abalone. She established a 20-year underwater marine ecosystem monitoring program which documented the impacts of climate change and the massive marine heatwave of 2014-2016 on the kelp forests in northern California.