01-1016-03.htmlTEXTGoMk. mBIN URI Biological Oceanographer Receives Narragansett Bay Commission Grant to Study the Providence and Seekonk Rivers
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22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Biological Oceanographer Receives Narragansett Bay Commission Grant to Study the Providence and Seekonk Rivers

Narragansett, RI -- October 16, 2001 -- URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) professor of biological oceanography Dr. Candace Oviatt has received a $35,000 grant from the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) to quantify nutrient concentrations in relation to water circulation patterns in the Providence and Seekonk Rivers. The goal of this project is to develop background information on the bodies of water that receive discharge from the Fields Point and Bucklin Point wastewater treatment facilities.

The study will establish where maximum infusions are occurring from the wastewater treatment facilities and map the core regions of trace metal and nutrient transport within each river. The results of these studies will serve as a baseline for noting future improvements to water quality and determining the need for regulations.

Four field surveys, one per season, of each river will be conducted over the course of a twelve-month period. Approximately 120 samples will be collected at different depths and locations along the entire length of the two rivers. The study area will also include the source of other water bodies as they enter these rivers.

A team led by GSO associate professor Chris Kincaid of Saunderstown will characterize water circulation patterns that, in turn, will determine where nutrient samples are collected. He will conduct his surveys using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler, an instrument that measures water column speeds by sending out acoustic pulses that bounce off particulate matter in the water column.

Douglas Cullen of Wakefield, President of Microinorganics, Inc., will head the field sampling team. The U.S. EPA recognizes his laboratory, located at the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett, as one of only twenty-three facilities nationwide capable of the EPA 1600 series methods for trace metals sampling and analysis.

The sampling began in July, and the final results of the study will be published in July of next year.

A resident of Richmond, Oviatt received a B.S. in biology from Bates College and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. Her research focuses on coastal ecosystem studies, particularly system production and respiration as measured by oxygen and carbon, carbon cycling, benthic-water column interactions, and the functional role of higher trophic levels.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the country's largest marine science education programs, and one of the world's foremost marine research institutions. Founded in 1961 in Narragansett, RI, GSO serves a community of scientists who are researching the causes of and solutions to such problems as acid rain, global warming, air and water pollution, oil spills, overfishing, and coastal erosion. GSO is home to the Coastal Institute, the Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Ocean Technology Center, and the National Sea Grant Library.

Contact: Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642, lcugini@gso.uri.edu

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