Alaska’s Natural History Described at MBL/Falmouth Library Talk, February 21

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CONTACT: Susan Joslin, Marine Biological Laboratory, 508-289-7281;

hobbie_celluloseMBL, Woods Hole, MA – Dr. John Hobbie, a Distinguished Scientist and Senior Scholar at the MBL’s (Marine Biological Laboratory) Ecosystems Center, will share his long and intimate knowledge of the Alaskan tundra in the third and final talk in the “Science Before Supper” series, Thursday, February 21 at 5:00 PM at the Falmouth Public Library’s Hermann Foundation Meeting Room, 300 Main Street, Falmouth.  The presentation, “Land of Extremes: Exploring the Natural History of Alaska’s Tundra,” is co-sponsored by the MBL Associates and the Falmouth Library.  It is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served.

Dr. Hobbie, an aquatic ecologist and former director of the Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research Project at Toolik Lake, Alaska, recently co-authored Land of Extremes, A Natural History of the Arctic North Slope of Alaska, a comprehensive guide to the natural history of the only arctic tundra in the United States. In his talk, Dr. Hobbie will share many illustrations from among the hundreds in the book, demonstrating that the arctic tundra as an ecosystem teeming with life.

Dr. Hobbie joined the MBL’s Ecosystems Center in 1976. His interest in the ecology of Arctic ecosystems began when he and his wife, Olivann, spent a year in a small cabin in the mountains of Alaska in the winter of 1960 while he carried out his Ph.D. thesis research. In 1975, Dr. Hobbie began research at Toolik Lake, an effort that grew under his direction into the MBL’s Arctic Long-Term Ecological Research site, funded by the National Science Foundation. Scientists at the Toolik Field Station are documenting the effects of temperature increase in Northern Alaska and using their data to predict ecological changes for larger Arctic regions over the next centuries.

Dr. Hobbie, a longtime resident of Falmouth, was director of the MBL Ecosystems Center from 1984 to 1989 and co-director from 1989 to 2006. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. Prior to joining the MBL, Dr. Hobbie was a professor at North Carolina State University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received the 2008 Alfred C. Redfield Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

For more information about the Science Before Supper series, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423; or the Falmouth Library at (508) 457-2555.
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. Founded in 1888 in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the MBL is an independent, nonprofit corporation.
The MBL Associates are a group of individuals and businesses that support the scientific mission of the MBL through their gifts to the Annual Fund. The Associates sponsor educational and research programs for the MBL and raise funds for special projects. In addition, they operate the MBL Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific research awards.