URI Friends of Oceanography Awards Graduate Fellowship

to Portsmouth Resident Narragansett, R.I. — November 16, 2000 — Friends of Oceanography at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) recently awarded its annual fellowship to Heather Saffert of Portsmouth. Saffert is pursuing a doctoral degree in biological oceanography. As part of her graduate research, she is developing, with industry partner, SubChem Systems, Inc., of Jamestown, a new remotely-deployed instrument to monitor water quality. The instrument, placed on a mooring buoy, will collect and transmit near real-time data on the abundance of sewage-derived bacteria in marine waters via satellite to the Internet. She plans to test the instrument by conducting water quality studies in Narragansett Bay. Her major professor is GSO biological oceanographer Dr. David Smith. “The Friends of Oceanography Fellowship has given me the opportunity to advance my education and begin an innovative research project,” said Saffert. “I deeply appreciate all the support and encouragement I have received. I hope to contribute to the field of marine microbial ecology and to improving water quality monitoring and management.” A native of Burnsville, Minnesota, Saffert attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she received a B.A. in biology with honors. Prior to attending GSO, she worked for three years as a marine scientist at Science Applications International Corporation in Newport. 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 874-6602. Visit the URI Graduate School of Oceanography website: www.gso.uri.edu Contact: Lisa Cugini, 874-6642, lcugini@gso.uri.edu