Frank and Theodora Miselis Professor of Chemistry
Collaborative Research: Building Research Programs to Reduce the Impacts of Human Development on Oceans and Lakes
Oceans and lakes are large-scale ecosystems controlled by the complex interaction of biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes, all modified by human activity. We will describe our Maine-based collaborative work with students, scientists, and policymakers investigating the biogeochemistry of the surface ocean and inland lakes. But understanding the physical world is not enough. How do scientists and community leaders communicate the status of our ecosystems to the public in ways that engender public confidence in the data, raise awareness of the risk to these valuable public resources, and motivate stakeholders to adopt collective, community-based conservation solutions?
Professor King is in his 26th year teaching at Colby. Trained as a chemical oceanographer, he teaches general, environmental, and analytical chemistry courses. King and his student researchers develop and build instruments for the analysis of metals and reactive oxygen species in natural waters. These instruments allow fundamental studies of redox reactions at the ocean/atmosphere, sediment/water, and plankton/water interfaces critical in defining aquatic environments. More than 100 research groups in more than 15 countries now use these instruments. King was the principal investigator on an NSF-funded project investigating the impacts of human development on the Belgrade Lakes watershed. That work benefited from a collaborative team of eight Colby faculty members, more than 50 students, and six conservation organizations.