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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

Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642

URI Breakfast Lecture Takes a Ride on
the Wood-Pawcatuck River Watershed

Narragansett, R.I. -- October 22, 2003 --Scientists study the movement of pollutants and other materials in streams and rivers near the point where they first encounter marine waters. These studies provide a composite picture of the many sources, sinks, and transformations that are active in the watershed.

The concentrations of nitrogen, as a result of fertilizer use and human waste, are the subject of a URI Friends of Oceanography Breakfast Lecture entitled "Dinner Plates and Golf Tees: Exploring thirty years of nitrogen export from the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed to Little Narragansett Bay."

The public is invited to attend the lecture on Thursday, November 6, at 9 a.m. in the Coastal Institute Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett. The lecture is part of a series featuring the research of URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) students. The speaker will be biological oceanography Ph.D. candidate Robinson Fulweiler of North Kingstown.

As part of a larger study, Fulweiler measured concentrations of total nitrogen over one year for the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed, a mixed land use watershed with a low population density on the Rhode Island-Connecticut border. Annual fluxes were then calculated and compared to the long-term USGS record available at this site.

Fulweiler will discuss why the Pawcatuck River discharge for this study was approximately 60% lower than the long-term mean. She will also talk about how nitrogen flux and composition has significantly changed and how it has been affected by a 40% increase in fertilizer application and an average population increase of 107% between 1970 and 2000 in towns within the watershed.

A native of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, Fulweiler, attended high school at Portsmouth Abbey School. She received a B.A. in Canadian Studies from the University of Vermont. Her research interests include water quality, nutrients, watershed and estuary biogeochemistry, coastal ecology. She is working on her Ph.D. in oceanography under the guidance of biological oceanographer Dr. Scott Nixon.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Coffee and muffins will be served. For more information, call Friends of Oceanography at (401) 874-6642.

Friends of Oceanography is a community-based membership organization established in 1986 to support the educational and public programs of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. Friends provides financial support of fellowships for GSO students, and other research, education, and outreach activities. The organization also helps sponsor a variety of special events such as oceanography lecture series, open houses at the Bay Campus, The JASON Project, and the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

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Page last revised Wednesday, October 22, 2003 .