URI Research Vessel Endeavor heads to Bermuda

Expedition to Measure Upper Ocean Photochemistry Sends URI Research Vessel Endeavor to Bermuda Narragansett, R.I. — August 2, 1999 — To understand the dynamics that drive oceanic processes and cycles, scientists must measure and analyze an enormous amount of data. To complicate their research, the ocean is extremely large, changeable, and no one part of the ocean can be studied without taking into consideration a seemingly infinite number of related factors. The URI research vessel Endeavor left Narragansett on July 31 to take a team of scientists to Bermuda so they can measure and create computer models of how three important upper-ocean chemicals are cycled through the ocean and atmosphere. The expedition team consists of photochemists, chemical, biological, and optical oceanographers, and an ocean modeler from a number of academic institutions, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Bermuda Biological Station for Research, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Old Dominion University, and Penn State University. The expedition team plans to quantify and model the cycles of three upper-ocean chemicals, carbonyl sulfide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen peroxide. The three chemicals are related in that they change composition when exposed to sunlight, their turnover in the upper-ocean takes place over hours or days, and their distribution in the ocean depends on the day/night cycles and the “weather” in both the atmosphere and in the ocean. Led by WHOI Senior Scientist Oliver Zafiriou, the research team will measure over time the amount and distribution of these chemicals in the water, along with ambient physical, meteorological, optical, biological, and chemical conditions. The goal of the Endeavor cruise is to better understand the complete “life” cycle of the chemicals, including where they come from, what happens to them while in the ocean, and their final disposition. Endeavor will return to Narragansett on August 18. To learn more about the R/V Endeavor, including specifications and scientific instrumentation and equipment, and view pictures of its interior, visit the website at http://www.gso.uri.edu/endeavor/endeavor.html. x-x-x For Information Contact: Lisa Cugini, 874-6642, lcugini@gso.uri.edu