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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 Free Public Lecture
Measures the Pulse of Narragansett Bay

Narragansett, RI -- October 1, 2002 -- The URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) campus is ideally situated on Narragansett Bay, and GSO scientists have considered the bay a living laboratory for more than 40 years.

One of these GSO scientists, Dr. Dana Kester, a professor of chemical oceanography, will present a free public lecture on Measuring the Pulse of Narragansett Bay. The lecture will take place in the Coastal Institute Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett on Tuesday, October 15 at noon.

Kester’s lecture will summarize recent findings about some of the chemical, physical and biological processes occurring in Narragansett Bay. A series of automated water column measurement instruments have been placed in Narragansett Bay that measure surface and bottom temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, chlorophyll and pressure at 15-minute intervals. The results are transmitted back to GSO laboratories by cellular telephone and radio links.

Recent data showed that phytoplankton blooms were followed by low oxygen events (hypoxia) in the upper Bay, resulting in fish kills. Kester’s research demonstrates the connections between conditions in the bay and the events that follow, allowing scientists to predict when summer bloom and hypoxic events are likely to occur. Increased input of nutrients, organic matter, or oxygen-consuming chemicals could shift the oxygen balance from hypoxic to anoxic (total lack of oxygen) with substantial impacts on marine organisms.


A resident of Narragansett, Kester received an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Oregon State University. His research involves the study of Narragansett Bay and other coastal waters using automated instruments and satellite remote sensing. These studies analyze the relationships between physical, chemical, and biological processes in the marine environment, resulting in improved management to reduce impacts on coastal ecosystems. Kester has worked at URI for more than 30 years.

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.

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

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File last updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2002

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