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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 the URI Graduate School of Oceanography . . .

URI Metcalf Institute Public Lectures Explore Science and Journalism

Narragansett, R.I. -- May 24, 2001 -- Corporate and political manipulation of research, the clash between scientists over managing marine habitats, how nutrients are leaching into our water, and the state of environmental legislation in Congress are the subjects of Scientists and Journalists: Getting the Point Across, a lecture series sponsored by The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. The Metcalf Institute will hold its third annual workshop for journalists June 10-15 and, as part of the workshop, four public lectures and a panel debate will be held at the Coastal Institute Auditorium at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s Narragansett Bay Campus. All events are open to the public.

Monday, June 11, 3:30 p.m.
Nutrients: The Worst Pollution Problem in U.S. Coastal Waters
Dr. Robert Howarth, Senior Marine Scientist and Program Director, The Oceans Program, Environmental Defense

More than 60 percent of U.S. coastal rivers and bays are moderately to severely degraded by nutrient inputs, which cause severe ecological damage, including dead zones, harmful algal blooms, acid rain, and loss of biotic diversity. What can be done to minimize nutrient pollution such as sewage and agricultural runoff? Howarth will discuss possible solutions to the problem from local to international scales.

Tuesday, June 12, 3:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Scalloping on Georges Bank: Is It Possible to Sustain the Fishery and the Ecosystem?

Moderated by Monica Allen, marine and environmental reporter, The Standard Times, New Bedford, MA
Panelists: Dr. Steven A. Murawski, National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods Hole Laboratory; Dr. Brian Rothschild, Director, School for Marine Science and Technology, UMASS-Dartmouth; Lawrence Yacubian, New Bedford scallop fleet; Dr. Cheri Recchia, Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, DC; Dr. Peter Auster, National Undersea Research Center, UCONN at Avery Point, Groton, CT.
Four scientists, a federal fishery manager, and a scallop fisherman, will debate whether intensive dredge fishing and a sustainable marine ecosystem can coexist on Georges Bank. What is at stake for the economy and the ecology of this productive marine region? The panel will take a closer look at the benefits and economic issues raised by closing large marine areas including Georges Bank.

Wednesday, June 13 3:30 p.m.
The Politics and Economics of Global Warming
Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat Is On

A veteran journalist (The Washington Post, The Boston Globe) will discuss the political and economic dimensions of climate issues including the active resistance of the fossil fuel lobby and the significant and recent changes in the corporate and political arenas. Gelbspan will discuss whether or not the scientific community has an obligation to speak publically about this complex issue. He will outline strategies designed to reduce global emissions and increase equity in the global economy.

Thursday, June 14 3:30 p.m.
Climate Change in the Arctic: Looking for Ice in All the Wrong Places
Dr. James McCarthy, Professor of Biological Oceanography and
Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

Climate change expert James McCarthy will discuss his travels to the North Pole last summer and the news that was generated by his observations. He will talk about what he saw, what was reported, and what was described in numerous editorials, op-ed pieces, cartoons, and on talk radio. McCarthy has been involved in with several IPCC working groups whose task it is to assess the impacts of global climate change.

Friday, June 15 11 a.m.
A Congressional Update: The Status of the Environment in Washington
U.S. Senator Lincoln D. Chafee (R-Rhode Island)

What are the environmental issues before Congress and how are they being negotiated in the political climate of the Bush administration? Chafee, chair of Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Control and Risk Assessment, will describe the critical environmental issues before Congress and the importance of protecting our natural resources.

The public lecture series is sponsored by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting. For information, call 401-874-6211 or visit the Metcalf Institute website at

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Contact: Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642

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