The Alabama Center for Ecological Resources (ACER) dedicates time to helping the public understand the coastal Gulf of Mexico habitats by sharing and simplifying the jargon often used by scientists.

ACER’s education and outreach team created three educational blogs to focus on a variety of topics and ideas.

The Word Wednesday series explains the meaning behind scientific terms like ecosystem services and benthic macrofauna.  For example, learn what is meant when scientists discuss trophic cascades in food webs and what is top-down and bottom-up control.

Complementary to Word Wedensday is the Tool Talk series where you can learn about the common methods and technologies used by scientists to answer their questions and test hypotheses. For example, how and why does the ACER research team use a mass spectrometer in understanding the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The mass spectrometer, or mass spec for short, has become an important tool in many aspects of science including genetics, biochemistry, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, geology and ecology.

The third blog, Habitat Focus, explores the habitats and ecosystems scientists are working in daily such as the salt marsh and oyster reefs.

Follow ACER on Facebook to learn more about their work.