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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Oceanographer of the Navy visits
URI Narragansett Bay Campus

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 5, 2001 -- Making it a point to become more involved in university-related marine research development, Rear Admiral Richard D. West, oceanographer of the U.S. Navy, recently visited the University of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay Campus.

West, who visits the Naval War College and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center periodically, indicated that he was familiar with some of the on-going research in physical oceanography and climatology at URI, but was interested in learning more about other URI research programs.

Since appointed as oceanographer of the Navy in February last year, West has made it a goal for the Navy to interact more with U.S. universities and other non-military federal agencies involved in the marine sciences because it maximizes the payoff for the common good of the country.

One Navy program, the Navy Oceanographic Partnership Program, is developing weather and environmental monitoring systems that could eventually help local officials make better decisions in preparing for emergencies. These same instruments can be used to provide valuable water quality measurement information for local towns and communities concerned about their drinking water supplies. The Navy has also developed weather forecast models for Navy fleet operations, which can benefit state agencies by accurately predicting local precipitation and wind conditions.

Invited to URI by Hugh Murphy, executive director of the Slater Center for Ocean Technology at the Narragansett Bay Campus, West and Representative Eileen Naughton (D-Warwick) reviewed current oceanographic and ocean technology developments at the University.

During his tour, West was shown details of University projects involving underwater soil mechanics, autonomous underwater vehicles, remote environmental monitoring sensor development and aquaculture. Additionally, he was briefed on Gulf Stream meanderings and deep-water eddy interaction, phytoplankton and zooplankton effects on physical oceanographic parameters, and an oceanographic research system that provides internet access to world-wide oceanographic databases and high-resolution, three-dimensional modeling of storm systems. Finally, West received an overview of the University's research ship, the R/V Endeavor and the early plans for replacing the ship at the end of its serviceable life.

For information: Todd McLeish 874-7892, Keith Marshall 874-2116

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Page last revised on Saturday, February 24, 2001 .