Friends of Oceanography Breakfast Lecture Explores the Impact of Hurricanes in Rhode Island

Friends of Oceanography Breakfast Lecture
Explores the Impact of Hurricanes in Rhode Island

Narragansett, RI — November 29, 2001 — The public is invited to attend a free Science for Breakfast Lecture, sponsored by Friends of Oceanography, to be held on Thursday, December 13, at 9 a.m. in the Coastal Institute Building on the URI Bay Campus. The lecture is part of a series featuring the research of URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) students.

The December 13 lecture, “Great Storms of the Past: Studying the Impact of Hurricanes on Rhode Island,” will be presented by geological oceanography graduate student Kathryn Ford of Narragansett.

Ford will discuss how scientists can see past storms in sediment cores from the local salt ponds, and how they can examine the impact the storms had on the coastal environment. Understanding the impact of such storms is of great interest to investigate the evolution of coastal areas and to predict impacts of future storms. The coastal lagoons in southern Rhode Island are yielding well-preserved samples of major storms that have occurred over the past 600 years.

Ford has been studying Quonochontaug Pond since 1999, examining its chemistry, circulation, and habitat and wildlife. In addition, she has been examining sediments to determine the history of contaminants in the pond, as well as the impacts of storm events. Ford’s research is funded by the Quonochontaug Pond Research Fellowship, initiated in 1998 through a $90,000 gift to GSO from Shelter Harbor summer resident Finn Caspersen to enable a GSO graduate student and faculty team to develop a base-line study of the large coastal pond.

Kathryn Ford is a Ph.D. candidate at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. She received her B.S. in geology and biology at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. Originally from Nashua, New Hampshire, she currently lives in Narragansett.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Coffee and muffins will be served. For more information, call Friends of Oceanography at (401) 874-6602.

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