Mark Hixon is one of OSU’s scientists involved in studies of coral reef ecology. He has also been cited as the leading expert in the Western Hemisphere and third in the world, based on journal publications that were most often cited for their scientific significance. Overall, OSU coral reef research programs ranked sixth in the U.S. and eighth globally.
Mark recently gave a talk summarizing the body of science around coral reefs. He concluded his talk by reading this poem, written by Kimiko Hahn:
The coral reefs are changing color,
the black and crimson bleached away:
the ocean’s rising fever,
in every drop the seas over,
damages the membrane of symbiotic algae
and coral reefs change their color.
True, it’s less sensational than acts of terror.
True, we can slather sunblock, then sunbathe,
despites the ocean’s rising fever.
After all, the planet isn’t broiling over;
algae is not an inflamed country.
It’s just coral reefs, changing color.
I wonder if it’s, yet again, the ozone layer
ruined by my aunt’s persistent use of hairspray–
this ocean’s rising fever?
I already own my share of vivid jewelry
from Mother’s childhood village on Maui.
Still, the living are losing color
in my ocean’s escalating fever.