Sowing the SEEDS: Rosenstiel School Hosts Inaugural Distinguished Lecturer

Photo Caption: (L-R) Dr. Su Sponaugle, associate professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries and Rosenstiel School SEEDS Implementation Committee; Associate Dean of UM College of Arts & Sciences Dr. Jackie Dixon: SEEDS Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Maria Assunção Faus da Silva Dias: SEEDS Principal Investigator and Chair of UM Biology Dr. Kathryn Tosney: Dr. Rana Fine, professor of Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry and Rosenstiel School SEEDS Implementation Committee; and Ms. Natasha Jobbagy, SEEDS Program Coordinator on Virginia Key after the inaugural lecture.

Virginia Key, Fla. — The inaugural SEEDS (Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success) distinguished lectures series kicked off with Dr. Maria Assunção Faus da Silva Dias’ research seminar at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Coordinator of the Weather Forecast and Climate Studies Center from National Institute for Space Research and professor at the University of São Paulo. Dias established the foundation for the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of São Paulo ten years ago. She was selected as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and, in 2007 and has served as vice president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science.

Dias was introduced by UM Meteorology faculty member Dr. Paquita Zuidema when she presented the results of the large-scale biosphere-atmosphere experiment in the state of Amazônia, Brazil. Increased deforestation, land exploitation for agriculture and population growth in the Amazon in the last 40 years have impacted the clouds and the precipitations over this vast green area of South America. Years of observations, measurements and modeling are revealing phenomena like the redistribution of clouds, pollutants in the water, and increased seasonality — more rain in the wet season and less rain in the dry season. These changes in rainfall have a significant influence on the planet as 20 percent of the oxygen and 60 percent of the freshwater on Earth emanate from the Amazon.

She also spoke at a brown bag luncheon, where she was introduced by UM Oceanographer Dr. Lisa Beal, and spoke with students and faculty members about her career and the course it has taken.

This event is the first in three-lecture series, one on each of the University of Miami’s campuses, sponsored by the SEEDS program. SEEDS is funded by an NSF ADVANCE for Women in Science grant, with significant support from UM Provost Dr. Thomas LeBlanc. SEEDS orchestrates programs, maintains a website and works with chairs and search committees to address implicit bias issues and to aid in the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities at the University of Miami, with particular emphasis on science and engineering careers.

Media Contacts:

Barbra Gonzalez
UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Marie Guma-Diaz
UM Media Relations Office

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