Scientists are not standing idly by as thousands of sea stars on the west coast of North America continue to succumb to sea star wasting syndrome. In fact, a workshop for experts in this field is organized for this weekend.
The Vancouver Aquarium has been invited by the Oregon Sea Grant and Hatfield Marine Science Center to take part in the 40-person Sea Star Wasting Workshop in Newport. Our resident taxonomist Donna Gibbs and research coordinator Jessica Schultz will share what they have learned on the B.C. coast with the help of other research divers and citizen scientists.
Jessica says the group will work together to answer the questions “What do we know so far? How can we coordinate our efforts?”
The first day will focus on the progression of the syndrome and potential ecological impacts. The second day will focus on practical ways to respond to this epidemic as well as how to involve the public.
The results of the workshop will be published in a non-scientific paper for future reference.
Scientists may not be able to tell yet for certain what’s going on with all of the sea stars, but they’re on it, and they’re determined to find out.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.