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The Ocean Embassy

The Ocean Embassy

By Anna Madlener

At The Ocean Embassy, Anna Madlener, marine robotics engineer and ocean enthusiast, interviews scientists, engineers, researchers, policymakers, politicians, with one vision: to share the manifold work done to protect our oceans, give an insight into the technological developments required to discover life in the water; an insight into the struggles of transferring knowledge interdisciplinarily or getting important research into meaningful, impactful legislation. We will talk about ways and means to attract new talent, funds, and technology, and why it so so essential to explore the deep sea.
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#07 Ocean CDR Series with Dr. Lennart Bach — What is Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement?

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#07 Ocean CDR Series with Dr. Lennart Bach — What is Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement?
#07 Ocean CDR Series with Dr. Lennart Bach — What is Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement?
Today we are continuing the Ocean CDR series with a really exciting topic. Ocean CDR stands for ocean-based carbon dioxide removals, which essentially represent all ocean-based methods to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thereby help achieve the 1.5 degree goal. For context, we require carbon dioxide removal technologies because it is ismply unrealistic that we will curb our emission reduction and decarbonization of industrial processes in time to stop the worst effects of this climate crisis we are in. CDR methods and ocean-based ones specifically are looking at pathways to learn from nature and accelerate processes that are already taking up carbon in the ocean naturally, but are either slowed down or endangered due to the current effects of global warming and the biodiversity crisis. One of these methods is Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: alkalinity is the opposite of acidity, which some may be more familiar with, and it is one of the most essential parameters in the ocean chemical system to make space for carbon dioxide to be absorbed at surface layers. Scientists and venture companies are looking at artificially adding alkalinity to the ocean in order to remove carbon and generate carbon removal credits, which you and I could buy. A very active scientist in this field is Dr. Lennart Bach, a marine biogeochemist - and don’t worry we will define what that is in the conversation - who studied in Kiel, Germany, where he also received his PhD followed by a PostDoc at GEOMAR Helmholtz center for ocean research. Hes now leading and building a team investigating marine CO2 removal at the university of Tasmania in Australia. Don’t be afraid by a lot of chemistry at the beginning of this episode, which I hope we dissected well enough to be broadly understood and give you an idea and sense of this really interesting carbon removal methods that has a large potential to play a very important role in achieving the 1.5 degree goal. We talk not only about the science but also about potential side effects, how to address these, how to monitor and control what potential industrial companies are and will be doing out there in the ocean and why it is necessary to study this topic further! I hope you enjoy yet another episode of the CDR series and feel free to comment any uncertainties, questions or suggestions for future episodes ! Also, some more housekeeping: if you like this podcast, please follow us and leave a recommendation or rating wherever you listen to this! And now, let’s talk biogeochemistry… Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #podcast #science #climatescience #technology #womeninstemm #womeninscience
01:04:01
November 07, 2022
#06 Kathleen Swalling — How do you design effective laws that sustainably protect the ocean?
#06 Kathleen Swalling — How do you design effective laws that sustainably protect the ocean?
On this new episode of The Ocean Embassy, I talk with Kathleen Swalling, an advocate and lawyer for the oceans for many years. She has extensive experience in designing legislation that effectively protects the ocean such as the laws that put the Great Barrier Reef under protection. We discuss how lawyers co-design Marine Protected Areas with all stakeholders involved, who those stakeholders are, and what makes laws ineffective. The aspect of legislation is very critical when we think about large scale impact of protective efforts, so I hope you enjoy this conversation!  Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #bbnj #deepseamining #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #sciencediplomacy #podcast #science #climatescience #technology #womeninstemm #womeninscience #naturebasedsolutions
01:05:49
September 27, 2022
#05 Melania Guerra — How is marine science informing policy decisions and technological developments and vice versa?
#05 Melania Guerra — How is marine science informing policy decisions and technological developments and vice versa?
Today you will hear from Melania Guerra, a super inspirational and inspiring woman. She is from Costa Rica with an American background and originally studied mechanical engineering. Afterwards, she did a PhD in Oceanography at Scripps in Southern California, interned at NASA and worked at several research institutes focusing especially on ocean acoustics before she transitioned into public policy and science diplomacy, working at the United Nations for a yeaar. After getting another Masters Degree in Public Policy, Melania is since this year working as the Director of Science Strategy at Planet in Berlin, which is where I finally met her in person.  What I love very much about this conversation with Melania, unlike my previous episodes, is that we really kind of drift through a lot of common interests and topics. We talk about her research in ocean acoustics and how this science informed public policy, discuss the BBNJ and Deep Sea Mining treaty negotiated during our recording at the United Nations, hop over to her current work place and generally discuss the importance between technology development and marine science. To me, she really embodies what I think about when I envision an interdisciplinary ocean expert—I hope you enjoy this conversation and excuse our drifting off topic hear and there. “Show notes” for the first time, this is the coral atlas Melania mentioned in the end where satellite data played an important role: https://www.allencoralatlas.org/ Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #bbnj #deepseamining #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #sciencediplomacy #podcast #science #climatescience #technology #womeninstemm #womeninscience
01:07:05
August 26, 2022
#04 Ocean CDR Series with Dr. Mar Fernández-Méndez — How can we ensure the development of science-driven carbon capturing methods in the ocean?
#04 Ocean CDR Series with Dr. Mar Fernández-Méndez — How can we ensure the development of science-driven carbon capturing methods in the ocean?
Hi and welcome back to the Ocean Embassy for another exciting Ocean CDR episode! In the first episode of this multi-part CDR series, we laid out how the ocean carbon cycle works, what the blue carbon hype is about and which policy frameworks are supporting these blue carbon efforts. Today, we will actually look at one of the ways in which we can artificially enhance carbon uptake. If you listened to the previous episode of this series, you will have noticed that one particular thing is mentioned a lot: the lack of science behind various ocean-based carbon capturing methodologies and therefore the need to treat them very carefully. Today, we are hearing from someone who has a bit of a different perspective on this: Dr. Mar Fernandez-Mendez is a marine biologist with degrees in Marine Microbiology and Biological Oceanography and a distinguished research career at the GEOMAR and Alfred-Wegener-Institutes in Germany, the two most renowned marine research institutions in this country. Her research has evolved from studying marine nutrients in upwelling systems to the potential of seaweeds, in particular a macro-algae called Sargassum. She has been a part of a super cool research project called The Ocean Artificial Upwelling project.  Artificial upwelling refers to an engineering method where essentially, nutrient-rich waters that have low CO2 concentration from the deep sea are exchanged with CO2-rich waters from the upper oceans, enhancing on one hand more carbon uptake at the surface while also storing more CO2 at depths. There are a few hiccups and uncertainties with this technology, though, from how one can actually do this to what effect this can have on all sorts of things such as involuntarily also bringing carbon from the deep sea to the surface or seriously messing with marine organisms that depend on the right nutrients at certain depths.  However, Mar also recently co-founded a company called Seafield Solutions, which is trying to solve exactly that problem: by using another big player in the carbon capture world: Sargassum. Sargassum is a form of macro algae, taking up large amounts of CO2 in order to grow, very well recognizable thanks to its sort of balloons between its leaves. But this algae is actually causing a lot of problems on beaches especially in the Caribbean and on the West Coast of Africa because there is too much of it floating in the sea due to misbalanced ecosystems.  Mar and I talked about her research, how technology assists in the first pilot experiments of artificial upwelling and how Sargassum is helping with that. We also discuss what is needed to achieve a careful balance between trying to do good by capturing carbon versus assessing the risk of altering marine ecosystems.  Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #podcast #science #climatescience #technology #womeninstemm #womeninscience
55:14
August 16, 2022
#03b Ocean CDR Series — How does the ocean sequester carbon and which policies are required to support the blue economy?
#03b Ocean CDR Series — How does the ocean sequester carbon and which policies are required to support the blue economy?
This is part 2 of the first of The Ocean Embassy's series on ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies. One of many discussed solutions to the climate crisis, besides of course emission reduction, is the potential of storing carbon in the ocean, for example using marine biomass such as seaweed or more complicated chemical mechanisms. In order to really understand how those solutions might be working, though, today’s episode will start out with actually explaining how the ocean takes up and processes carbon in the first place. Not only are we talking about that, however, but we are also discussing what is behind that huge promise of blue carbon, as it is often termed. And to make it even more exciting, on this episode I don’t have one guest, but five! The groundwork and basis for this long conversation is a paper published by seven phenomenal female scientists who have a very multidisciplinary background within the marine science and policy sector. The paper is called The Promise of Blue Carbon Climate Solutions: Where the Science Supports Ocean-Climate Policy written by Anne B. Christianson, Anna Cabre, Blanca Bernal, Stacy K. Baez, Shirley Leung, Alicia Perez-Porro and Elvira Poloczanska. With five of these authors I dissected their paper, talking about the different mechanisms of the oceanic carbon cycle, the ways in which climate solutions can enhance or support these mechanisms, and to what degree we already have policy supporting that. With a group of such interdisciplinary guests we really get a broad perspective on the issue or potential of blue carbon and you will see, also throughout the entire series of next episodes, that opinions are sometimes quite far apart. Nonetheless, in this episode we sort of set the ground rules for understanding the carbon cycle in the first place and getting a sense of how incredibly difficult it is to create policy supporting that science, and vice versa. Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #podcast #science #climatescience #technology #womeninstemm #womeninscience
37:44
August 09, 2022
#03a Ocean CDR Series — How does the ocean sequester carbon and which policies are required to support the blue economy?
#03a Ocean CDR Series — How does the ocean sequester carbon and which policies are required to support the blue economy?
Today’s episode is the first of The Ocean Embassy's series on ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies. One of many discussed solutions to the climate crisis, besides of course emission reduction, is the potential of storing carbon in the ocean, for example using marine biomass such as seaweed or more complicated chemical mechanisms. In order to really understand how those solutions might be working, though, today’s episode will start out with actually explaining how the ocean takes up and processes carbon in the first place. Not only are we talking about that, however, but we are also discussing what is behind that huge promise of blue carbon, as it is often termed. And to make it even more exciting, on this episode I don’t have one guest, but five! The groundwork and basis for this long conversation is a paper published by seven phenomenal female scientists who have a very multidisciplinary background within the marine science and policy sector. The paper is called The Promise of Blue Carbon Climate Solutions: Where the Science Supports Ocean-Climate Policy written by Anne B. Christianson, Anna Cabre, Blanca Bernal, Stacy K. Baez, Shirley Leung, Alicia Perez-Porro and Elvira Poloczanska. With five of these authors I dissected their paper, talking about the different mechanisms of the oceanic carbon cycle, the ways in which climate solutions can enhance or support these mechanisms, and to what degree we already have policy supporting that. With a group of such interdisciplinary guests we really get a broad perspective on the issue or potential of blue carbon and you will see, also throughout the entire series of next episodes, that opinions are sometimes quite far apart. Nonetheless, in this episode we sort of set the ground rules for understanding the carbon cycle in the first place and getting a sense of how incredibly difficult it is to create policy supporting that science, and vice versa. Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #podcast #science #climatescience #technology
01:01:27
August 09, 2022
#02 Melissa Cristina Marquez — How do you catalyze technology and science communication to advance knowledge about the ocean's predators and their role in climate change?
#02 Melissa Cristina Marquez — How do you catalyze technology and science communication to advance knowledge about the ocean's predators and their role in climate change?
Welcome to the second episode of The Ocean Embassy. Today I am interviewing someone super cool. Melissa Cristina Marquez is a wildlife scientist, science communicator, author, TV presenter and a lot more. We talk about her research on ocean predators' habitat development, the way in which she relies on marine technology in this work and why science communication and social media is vital for her future work. We also address the systemic issues Melissa has faced throughout her career such as sexism.  Melissa has a Puerto Rican-Mexican background and holds a Bachelor degree in Marine Ecology and Conservation from the New College of Florida. Her Masters degree took her to the other side of the globe: she studied Marine Biology at the Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and then moved to Perth, Australia to start her PhD research at Curtin University. Her research focuses on understanding what oceanographic processes influence the composition, distribution, and habitat use of Chondrichthyans in the Western Indian Ocean as well as local people’s perceptions about sharks. She is a member of the board for Women in Ocean Science, coordinates the Mentorship program at Minorities in Shark Sciences, regularly writes for Forbes and advises organizations on their science strategies. I wanted to interview Melissa because she is a pro at communicating science and research about the wildlife in our oceans that gets very little talked about in public. It amazes me how important also research such as hers is in order to place small details of one animal’s habitat into broader context of climate change. Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection. Music and Sound Effects: Lukas Bindel  Mixing: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation #podcast #science #climatescience #technology
45:22
June 24, 2022
#01 Jeremy Raguain — how can technology help policymakers advocate for the ocean?
#01 Jeremy Raguain — how can technology help policymakers advocate for the ocean?
Welcome to the inaugural episode of The Ocean Embassy, where I interview engineers, scientists, researchers, policymakers and everyone in between and beyond, that all advocate for our oceans in one way or another. From exploring the deep sea, to building robots that grow macroalgae, to voicing concerns and targets at government levels on a daily basis — there are so many ocean champions out there. Today’s guest is someone I admire very much. I met Jeremy when we were both Ocean Discovery Fellows at the All Hands on Deck conference at MIT Media Lab in November 2018. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in the United States is one of the leading ocean exploration research institutes and holds a conference dedicated to a specific marine field of study annually. In 2018, however, the conference was a bit different. That year, it took place at the MIT Media Lab, an incredible interdisciplinary technology and design institute at the infamous MIT in Boston.  It was organised by the Open Ocean Initiative led by Katy Croff Bell — who we will, by the way, welcome here on the podcast soon, too – and it was a complete shift from what conferences I had been at usually looked like. The spirit of interdisciplinary work, the urgency of collaboration and high level of youth presented was amazing. The fact that there were so many diverse and young people present at a conference we could have usually never afforded, was thanks to a fund for so-called Ocean Discovery Fellows, young ocean leaders and explorers from around the world, which, as I mentioned, both Jeremy and I were.  Jeremy is from the Seychelles and studied Environmental Science and International Relations in Cape Town and Dresden, and when we met in 2018 he was working for the Seychelles Island Foundation as a project coordinator in education and outreach, biodiversity and logistics. Since March of this year, he lives in New York and is a Fellow of the Alliance of Small Island States, AOSIS. Throughout these last years, he has built an impeccable network advocating for small island states, for the oceans as a resource and ecosystem, and I’ve seen a lot of pictures of him in UN conference rooms. He is a Young ocean leader and was a member of the Inaugural Youth Policy Advisory Council at the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. We talk about the ways in which the ocean has shaped Jeremy's life, work and future, and how technology has built empathy around all of it. We discuss ways in which technology could improve ocean protection in the future and how important it is that some people make the move from field work to diplomacy at the highest levels.  I hope you enjoy this episode!  Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection.   Mixing, Music and Sound Effects: Anna Madlener  #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation
43:57
June 08, 2022
Trailer — The Ocean Embassy launching June 8th
Trailer — The Ocean Embassy launching June 8th
Welcome to the Ocean Embassy.  The Ocean Embassy podcast will launch on June 8th on Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts from 🎙🌊. At The Ocean Embassy, I interview friends, colleagues, engineers, researchers, policymakers, politicians, with one vision: to share the manifold work done to protect our oceans, give an insight into the technological developments required to discover rare species; an insight into the struggles of transferring knowledge interdisciplinarily or getting important research into meaningful, impactful legislation. We will talk about ways and means to attract new talent, funds, and technology, and why it is so essential to explore the deep sea. The guests on this podcast will vary from university professors, established and renowned researchers, policymakers, explorers – to lesser known but equally intriguing, inspiring, capable individuals who I have had the fortune of getting to know through various means. I envision a series of episodes reflecting the diversity of expertise, field, culture and personal background required to deliver everything we know about the ocean. Cover art: Simon + Anna Madlener. Based on the Spilhaus world projection.  Music and Sound Effects: Anna Madlener #ocean #climateaction #climatecrisis #unoceandecade #bluecarbon #carboncapturetechnology #technology #robotics #sciencecommunication #marineconservation
03:57
May 29, 2022