Enzo Murray: Science Reporter

In Enzo Murray: Science Reporter, children will join Enzo as she navigates a world of overblown media messages.

Photos from the show


Enzo meets Dr. Fred Dobbs, who helps her understand the processes of data-collection and research that help scientists understand how microbial life changes when waters warm. Enzo learns that science is about the patient collection of data in small steps to understand and respond to change. Enzo learns that increased hand washing can protect her from microbes and that she must think critically about media messages. (Grades 4-8)

After the show children will work as junior scientists. They will put a very safe substance on their hands that shows up under a blacklight, they will then wash their hands and observe how proper hand washing removes the majority of the substance while a quick rinse does not. Students will then observe and record how many other people do a good job washing their hands.

Dr. Fred Dobbs Talks about His Research
I think marine microbiology is the most exciting field among the environmental sciences. In the past 20 years, our understanding of microorganisms in the ocean has advanced at a pace that sometimes makes me dizzy! What’s more, their effects on the environment are huge, even global in scale. It turns out that bacteria, viruses, and protists (single-celled plants or animals) affect our climate, the growth rate of whales, and in rare but important cases, could make you sick. (You already knew that last one, didn’t you?) Some of my research over the past 15 years has focused on “bad bugs” (also called “pathogens”) that may indeed make us sick. My plans for the future are to consider one of these pathogens, Vibrio vulnificus, in the context of climate change. Nowadays this bacterium causes most of its infections in the Gulf Coast states, where the water is warm much of the year. If our local waters become warmer because of climate change, will we see more reports of this “bad bug” in Chesapeake Bay? Stay tuned to Science Alliance Live as we ask this question over the next 10 years!

More about v. vulnificus
from researcher Amanda L. Laverty

More about Fred Dobbs
Fred Dobbs at ODU