The Superpowers of Seaweed


In Maine, marine biologists investigate a way to protect shellfish from the damage caused by one of the lesser-known consequences of climate change: the rising level of carbon dioxide in the ocean. CO2 makes seawater more acidic and that damages shells. Their experiment: raising mussels in close proximity to seaweed, which takes CO2 out of ocean water.

Film Resources: Lesson Plan and Community Outreach Guide

Our partners, The Climate Initiative and the National Science Teaching Association, have created outstanding resources to accompany each of our films. Click on the buttons below to access the lesson plan and community outreach guide for The Superpowers of Seaweed. The classroom-ready lesson plan developed by the National Science Teaching Association highlights the science and engineering practices scientists use to explain the phenomenon of climate change. The Climate Initiative’s community outreach guide offers talking points and prompts to help foster viewer conversations about the film.

Meet the Scientists

Susie Arnold, Ph.D.

Susie Arnold, Ph.D.

Marine Scientist

As the Marine Scientist at the Island Institute, Susie works on the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on Maine’s marine resources and fisheries-dependent communities. Through her work, Susie is helping coastal communities better understand the implications of ocean climate change so they can make informed decisions about adaptation. She is also conducting applied research to understand the environmental benefits of kelp farming, including its ability to remediate ocean acidification. With recent appointments to the legislatively established Ocean Acidification Commission as well as the Maine Climate Council’s Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and liaison to the Coastal and Marine Working Group, Susie has emerged as a leader at the interface of science and policy in Maine. Prior to joining the Island Institute, Susie earned masters degrees in Marine Biology and Marine Policy and a doctoral degree in Marine Biology from the University of Maine. Her research focused on coral reef ecology and the importance of protecting certain fish species for the well-being of the entire ecosystem, including those who make a living from the ocean.

Click here to read more about Dr. Arnold’s research.

Nichole Price, Ph.D.

Nichole Price, Ph.D.

Benthic Marine Ecologist

Nichole Price is a Senior Research Scientist and the Director of the Center for Seafood Solutions at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. She studies how global change phenomena, like ocean acidification and warming, can alter bottom-dwelling species interactions, community dynamics, and ecosystem function in shallow coastal regimes. Her work focuses primarily on the eco-physiology of seaweeds and their current and future role in dissolved inorganic carbon cycling. She is interested in understanding how the balance of primary production/respiration and calcification/dissolution create natural diet variation in carbonate chemistry and perpetuate biological feedbacks. She has focused on these topics primarily on tropical coral reefs, but has also recently expanded her work to include temperate systems. Dr. Price’s research utilizes state-of-the-art analytical tools including novel autonomous instrument packages and custom experimental aquaria and extrapolate results to regional and global scales using statistical modeling.

Click here to read more about Dr. Price’s research.