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