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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

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

URI Graduate School of Oceanography Scientist
Receives National Award at Ocean Research Meeting

NARRAGANSETT, RI -- February 10, 2003 -- During the National Ocean Research Leadership Council meeting in January held at the White House Conference Center in Washington, DC, URI Graduate School of Oceanography faculty member Dr. Isaac Ginis was one of a group of researchers presented with the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) Excellence in Partnering Award.

The award was given to Ginis and more than 20 educational, government, and industry partners who collaborated on the Coastal Marine Demonstration (CMD) Project.

This project was identified as one of the most outstanding of completed NOPP-supported projects based on several criteria including ocean sector diversity among the partners; level of effort/involvement by the partners; matching contributions of the partners; long-term commitment of the partners beyond the NOPP funding period; success of the partnership in meeting its project objectives; and impact of the effort to the ocean research community.

"This is a significant achievement," said Dr. James Yoder, Chair of the NOPP Interagency Working Group," which is equally as important to NOPP as it is to all of the partners involved."

The CMD Project was a two-year effort whose objective was to develop, improve, deliver, and evaluate experimental marine forecast products for mariners of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding coastal ocean. A major component of the CMD Project was the implementation of a system to deliver state-of-the-art forecasts during two demonstration periods. Ginis’s contribution focused on exploring a method for assimilating oceanographic data in the Gulf Stream into a computer model of this area and below the ocean’s surface.

"This project is a clear example of how collaboration can advance the efforts of science and technology," said Ginis. "Two of the experimental models demonstrated in the CMD project are now operational, including the National Ocean Service’s Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System and the National Weather Service’s Regional Ocean Forecast System."
While in Washington to receive the award, Ginis met with Senators Lincoln Chafee and Jack Reed to discuss the award and its implications for future research.

"I congratulate Dr. Ginis on his recent receipt of a NOPP Excellence in Partnering Award," said Sen. Chafee. "Dr. Ginis' climate forecasting model provides a critical tool for expanding our exploration of the marine environment and developing a better understanding of our ocean systems. His climate research is representative of the tremendous work currently underway by the GSO scientists that continues to propel Rhode Island into the forefront of marine science."

Ginis is a well known researcher in hurricane intensity prediction. Along with GSO physical oceanographer Lewis Rothstein, he developed a computer model that was coupled with a hurricane model created by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geophysical Fluid Dynamic Laboratory (GFDL) to provide a more efficient set of predictors that take into consideration the effects of atmosphere-ocean interaction during storms and more accurate predictions of storm intensity. In 2000, the coupled model became an official component of the national hurricane prediction system used to forecast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico tropical storms and hurricanes.

"Professor Ginis' contribution is typical of the outstanding research being carried out by the Graduate School of Oceanography," said GSO Dean David Farmer. "This work brings tangible benefits to our economy and society by providing improved marine forecasts. Prof. Ginis brings first class scientific analysis to bear on challenging environmental problems with broad impact and I am delighted to see him honored in this way. The University is proud to have such a fine oceanographer in its ranks."

This past April, Ginis was named a "2002 Environmental Hero" by NOAA in recognition of his contributions in the field of hurricane forecast research.

More information about the Coastal Marine Demonstration Project can be found by visiting <http://cmdp.wsicorp.com/cmdp/html/home.html>.

The GSO 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, harmful algal blooms, 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 Institute for Archaeological Oceanography, and the National Sea Grant Library.

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