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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

News from URI's Graduate School of Oceanography...

URI Office of Marine Programs Receives Grants to Develop New
K-12 Estuarine Science Website and Teacher Institute

Teachers are invited to apply to take part in the teacher
institute to be held during the spring and summer.

Narragansett, R.I. -- February 20, 2001 -- Two grants to the URI Office of Marine Programs (OMP) at the Graduate School of Oceanography are helping create a new website and a related teacher institute that will help Rhode Island educators teach their elementary, middle, and secondary school students about the state’s coastal ecosystems and estuarine environments.

A $53,162 grant from the Narragansett Bay Commission to OMP provides for development and implementation of an educational website entitled Discovery of Estuarine Environments (DOEE). The website will build on one launched in 1998, Discovery of Coastal Environments, that continues to average more than 6,000 "hits" per week during the academic year. The new website will allow students to take virtual field trips from the classroom to locations in the urban coastal waters of Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay and lower Narragansett Bay. DOEE will also include a range of background materials with GIS maps, links to real time environmental monitoring data, and a gallery of plant and animal life found in the Bay. Funding for the grant was provided to the Narragansett Bay Commission under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EMPACT Program.

A second grant for $60,000 from Eisenhower Professional Development Program administered by the Office of Higher Education will establish a teacher institute to enhance the DOEE website. The institute will allow teachers to provide input into the content of the website and to develop complementary classroom activities. Participating teachers will receive extensive training in estuarine science; they will then participate in professional development workshops to train other teachers how to effectively use the website in the classroom.

"The Discovery of Estuarine Environments website and teacher institute will bring K-12 teachers together with marine educators and scientists from URI to ensure that the new program is as successful as the original Discovery of Coastal Environments website," said Project Director Gail Scowcroft. "We are pleased to provide a program that incorporates current, topical science education materials that address community issues related to Rhode Island’s urban coastal and Narragansett Bay estuarine environments.

The Discovery of Estuarine Environments website is scheduled to go on-line in November 2001.

Teachers are invited to send in applications to participate in the Discovery of Estuarine Environments Teacher Institute, scheduled for four Saturdays in May and June and six weekdays in July. Teachers will receive science, technology, and field instruction and then work collaboratively to develop the educational components of the website. Each selected teacher will be awarded a $600 stipend for full participation in the Institute and may apply to receive three graduate oceanography credits to fulfill state requirements for certificates in general science and biology. To request an application, call Gail Scowcroft, 401-874-6724. Completed applications are due on March 9.

Established in 1986 as the marine and environmental outreach arm of URI's Office of the Vice Provost for Marine Programs, OMP's targeted audiences include educators and students at all levels, the general public, volunteers, scientists and engineers, journalists and the media, alumni, donors, and friends of the Graduate School of Oceanography. Housed in the Coastal Institute at URI's Narragansett Bay Campus, OMP outreach efforts are focused in the areas of marine and environmental education and science communications. For more information call the URI Office of Marine Programs at 874-6211 or visit the website at

Contact: Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642,

Visit the Discovery of Coastal Environments website at

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