Chemical Pollution in the Biosphere

Instructor: Dr. James Cervino

Spring 2017: May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14 (5 sessions; Wednesdays, 6:10-8:10 PM)


This class will highlight how chemical toxins, specifically atmospheric and groundwater pollution, moves through ecosystems, into food webs, onto our dinner table, and eventually into our cell tissues. We will also identify how “global warming” and chemical pollution are changing major ecosystems, marine and terrestrial food chains, precious natural resources, and human health. In the last century, we witnessed the incredible losses to our precious marine ecosystems and natural resources due to industrial chemical pollution. We have witnessed a major disruption to the chemical balance on earth that sustains life as we know it within the biosphere. We will explain how Earth’s basic ecosystems function, and how any relax in US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations will cause a decline in human health, a collapse in marine food chains, contaminate our groundwater and atmosphere, and cause a temperature imbalance that will accelerate global warming.

Dr. James M. Cervino received a bachelors degree from New York University that focused on Earth Science and Physical Anthropology, a masters degree from Boston University in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from University of South Carolina. His research interests involve the investigation of global warming-induced climate change and chemical pollution and its links to disease, compromised immunity, and cancer in marine habitats globally. His current research interests are to understand how chemicals move through food chains and the biological and ecological effects of chemical pollution, thermal stress, and disease on tropical marine life and wetlands, specifically marine plants and Cnidarians globally. He recently started an environmental consulting firm in New York City and is a visiting scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.