NOAA's Planet Stewards Book Club - Join Us on November 18th for Ocean Outbreak!.

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Join us Monday, November 18, 2019 

at 8:00 pm Eastern Time for a discussion of:

Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease

The Author, Dr. Drew Harvell will be joining us for the discussion - All are welcome, but space is limited. 

Click here For more information about the Book Club.

To register for the discussion, contact Bruce Moravchik.


A very limited number of books are available for registered attendees.

To join the discussion Dial (toll free) 866-662-7513 

Then, use the pass code: 1170791#


Please share this invitation to all interested colleagues and networks

Ocean Outbreak Book Cover

There is a growing crisis in our oceans - rates of infectious disease outbreaks are on the rise. Marine epidemics have the potential to cause a mass die-off of wildlife from the bottom to the top of the food chain, impacting ocean ecosystems health and lives on land. Fueled by sewage, unregulated aquaculture, and drifting plastic in warming seas, ocean outbreaks are sentinels of impending global environmental disaster.

Ocean Outbreak follows renowned scientist Drew Harvell and her colleagues as they investigate how four iconic marine animals - corals, abalone, salmon, and starfish - have been devastated by disease. Based on over twenty years of research, this firsthand account of the sometimes creeping, sometimes exploding impact of disease on our ocean’s biodiversity ends with a hopeful message. Through policy changes and the implementation of innovative solutions, we can reduce major outbreaks, save some ocean ecosystems, and protect our fragile environment.

Prior to the Book Club meeting you might enjoy watching Dr. Harvell discuss another of her books A Sea of Glass, on Cornell University’s Chats in the Stacks Book Talk

Discussion Questions

  1. Disease outbreaks in the ocean differ from outbreaks on land. Dr. Harvell discusses the “perfect storm” of outbreak conditions: new pathogens introduced via aquaculture and human sewage, salt water providing a hospital environment for pathogens, pathogens discharged by shipping vessels, effects of pollution and climate change and the warming of surface waters due to climate change. Are you aware of all of these conditions?
  2. There has been a lot of media attention to the problem of corals being stressed by warming oceans and disease. As Drew points out, people don’t realize infectious diseases that take hold of corals may cause their subsequent death. Are you aware of the other ocean pathogens affecting our food supply, economy, livelihood, and health?
  3. Were you surprised that it took so long to solve the mystery of what was causing the withering foot syndrome of Abalone?
  4. Given the information on salmon disease, what changes should be made to reduce future disease outbreaks in fisheries or aquaculture in general? What are aquaculture best practices and does the US adhere to the highest standards?
  5. Drew discusses the problem of funding for research studies and elaborates on how the “Save Our Stars” project at a middle school in Arkansas helped fund field surveys for work on the starfish epidemic. Has your class participated in activities like this?
  6. What are important new research themes to address how the ocean’s natural pathogen fighting services work?
  7. Do you think plastics convey disease to organisms other than coral?
  8. Which of the four disease outbreaks discussed in the book did you find the most interesting and useful?

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