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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to host ‘Oceans a la Carte’ workshop with discussions of large marine ecosystems

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Event for teachers, scientists, public celebrates NOAA’s 200 Years of Science


NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – October 10, 2007 -- The Office of Marine Programs at the University of Rhode Island and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will celebrate NOAA’s “200 Years of Science” with a day-long workshop on large marine ecosystems. The event for teachers, scientists and the public will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Coastal Institute on the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.

Large marine ecosystems are areas of the ocean characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrography, productivity, and trophic interactions. Responsible for producing 95 percent of the world’s fish catch, these ecosystems are the focus of global efforts to reduce the degradation of linked watersheds, marine resources and coastal environments from pollution, habitat loss, and over-fishing.

“The programs will provide attendees with insight into the plight of large marine ecosystems, both locally and around the world,” said Andrea Kecskes, workshop coordinator. “Teachers will come away from the activity sessions with hands-on classroom materials, a broader understanding of these ecosystems, and NOAA’s role in investigating and protecting the waters of the world.”

Keynote speaker, Kenneth Sherman, director of the Narragansett Laboratory and Office of Marine Ecosystem Studies at NOAA/Fisheries, will begin the day with a presentation on "Celebrating 200 Years of NOAA."

Sherman is well known for his comparative research on the impacts of natural and human interventions on ecosystem productivity and biomass yields in large marine ecosystems. He is the senior editor or co-editor of 13 volumes and the author of 42 published reports and articles on large marine ecosystem research from 1986 to 2003. Sherman also serves as chair of the Arctic Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment and U.S. project officer in joint U.S.-Polish studies on marine productivity.

Several other noted scientists will speak throughout the day, including Nancy Thompson, newly appointed director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center of NOAA/Fisheries, who will discuss the interactions between NOAA as a stewardship agency and the short-term outlook of some of the fisheries stakeholders.

The registration fee for the workshop is $35 per person, $20 for all URI and high school students, and the fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and take-home materials.

Rhode Island Professional Development Credit applies. Pre-registration and pre-payment by credit card, check, or cash is required. Visit http://omp.gso.uri.edu for a downloadable registration form, call 401-874-6211, or email omp@gso.uri.edu for registration information. More information regarding concurrent sessions and presentations will be posted on the Office of Marine Programs website, http://omp.gso.uri.edu. Deadline for registration is Oct. 19.