Augsburg News

News Archives - 1998

"Beyond Jules Verne: Ocean Exploration for the 21st Century" is topic of lecture at Augsburg

Marcia McNutt will deliver annual Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Lecture

Mar. 27 1998

Today's scientists can comfortably sit in their labs and study the ocean, relying on tethered and unmanned vehicles to monitor, sample and manipulate tools in the ocean depths. Data can be downloaded through sophisticated communication links, and even more data is gathered by earth-orbiting satellites that provide global images of the upper ocean.

These types of technological advances for ocean exploration are rapidly expanding, says Minneapolis native Dr. Marcia McNutt, a geophysicist and chief executive officer with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif.

Furthermore, McNutt says, because of current tools and others that soon will be available, scientists will be able to understand the complex processes of the ocean system in ways that go beyond the imaginations of science fiction writers from the earlier part of this century.

McNutt will discuss these advances in a multimedia lecture at Augsburg College's eighth annual General Leif J. Sverdrup Visiting Scientist Program. Her free public lecture will be given on Monday, April 27, at 8 p.m. in Augsburg's Hoversten Chapel, located on campus in the Foss Center (corner of Riverside and 22nd avenues south). Call 612/330-1324 to make reservations or to receive a poster announcement of the event.

As part of her visit to the Twin Cities, McNutt will also visit South High School and Marcy Middle School from 9-11 a.m. on April 27 and 28.

McNutt's principal research involves the use of marine geophysical data to study the physical properties of the earth beneath the oceans. Her research is both theoretical and field-based, using data from nearly two dozen oceanographic expeditions.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is a research laboratory funded by the Packard Foundation to develop and exploit new technology for the exploration of the oceans. The institute's main focus is on designing and building new tethered and autonomous underwater vehicles and in situ sensor packages for increasing the spatial and temporal sampling of the ocean and its inhabitants.

Marcia McNutt was born and raised in Minneapolis. She graduated as class valedictorian from Northrop Collegiate School (now The Blake Schools) in 1970. In 1973, she received a bachelor's degree in physics, graduating summa cum laude from Colorado College. With the help of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, she studied geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., where she earned a Ph.D. in earth sciences in 1978.

In 1982, McNutt joined the faculty at MIT and was appointed the Griswold Professor of Geophysics. In 1988, she was awarded the Macelwane Award for outstanding research from the American Geophysical Union.

McNutt's visit is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium, of which Augsburg is a member. The NASA-funded consortium supports students with undergraduate and graduate scholarships and works with Minnesota schools to develop strong science, mathematics and technology programs.