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  • Joeven Calvelo

Tracking ENSO Variability Using Annually Banded Coral from Northern Luzon, Philippines

On December 14, 2023, Dr. Kevin L. Garas presented a talk entitled “Tracking ENSO Variability Using Annually Banded Coral from Northern Luzon, Philippines” at the NIGS Audio-Visual Room at 4:00 PM. The talk was live streamed and recorded on the NIGS Facebook page and via Zoom.

Dr. Kevin L. Garas is a senior geologist at the Lands Geological Survey Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Mines and Geosciences Bureau (Central Office). He took both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Hokkaido University, Japan, specializing in coral biogeochemistry, sclerochronology, carbonate research, and paleoclimatology.

Group photo of the attendees with Dr. Kevin L. Garas.

Dr. Garas’ talk was about how annually banded corals, especially massive Porites, can serve as a proxy for past ocean-climate systems, specifically sea surface temperature and salinity in short timescales or those associated with monsoons, El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). His talk focused on the methodologies that are currently being used in extracting the Sr/Ca and δ18O records from these corals and filtering only the relevant signals for better interpretation. Overall, the talk provided an opportunity for the NIGS personnel, especially the undergraduate students to understand more the painstaking and grueling “behind-the-scenes” of using corals in paleoclimatology.

Dr. Kevin L. Garas (middle), receiving his certificate and token of appreciation together with Dr. Noelynna T. Ramos (left), the NIGS-OIC Director, and Dr. John Dale Dianala (right), chair of the NIGS Lecture Series.

Around 30 people, both physical and online participants, attended the talk. The participants are mostly NIGS personnel including undergraduate and graduate students, and professors.The event was co-organized with the Iuvenis Orbis Geological Fraternity in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the National Institute of Geological Sciences. This last lecture series of the year was among the series of events that served as the culmination of the ruby anniversary of the institute.


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