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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

Friends of Oceanography Lecture Series
Explores The Bay and Beyond

The first talk on February 3 will feature the URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s
new dean, Dr. David Farmer.

Narragansett, RI -- January 23, 2002 -- A strait is a narrow waterway that connects two large bodies of water. Straits are important because of their strategic position with regard to transportation, commercial enterprise, and military advantage. Oceanographically, they have been the subject of scientific research dating back centuries and their unique characteristics continue to be the source of many studies.

David Farmer, Dean of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, is one modern researcher who studies these remarkable oceanographic features. The public is invited to hear Farmer discuss "Strait Talk: Some Adventures in Coastal Oceanography" on Sunday, February 3, at 3 p.m. in the Coastal Institute Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett. The talk will be followed by refreshments in the Coastal Institute and an opportunity to meet the Dean.

The study of these straits goes back at least to the 17th century and some of the oceanographic characteristics were well known to Phoenician traders. The scientific investigations have an interesting history, including the contributions of some remarkable scientists and their sponsors, including Count Marsigli, Queen Christina of Sweden, the Bernoulli family.

Farmer will talk about ocean straits, specifically the Bosphorus (Strait of Istanbul) and the Strait of Gibraltar. He will describe some of the background history, along with personal experiences in studying these straits, including his work for a movie production in northern British Columbia where the currents were 16 knots.

Established in 1985 to support and promote the activities of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Friends of Oceanography informs and educates the membership and the general public about the scientific, technological, and environmental research that takes place at GSO. The organization sponsors public lectures, open houses, marine-related mini-courses, science cruises on Narragansett Bay, and an annual auction. The Friends office is located in the Coastal Institute building on URI's Narragansett Bay Campus. For information about Friends of Oceanography, call 874-6642.

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