URI Graduate School of Oceanography public lecture dives into the waters of Croatia

Narragansett, RI — November 8, 2004 — In May URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) operations coordinator Eric Klos traveled to Croatia to join a group of fourteen international scientists–all specialists in jellyfish–to serve as diving supervisor for the American diving team. Klos will share his diving adventures in Croatia at a special slide presentation that describes the intriguing and beautiful country above and below the surface of the water.

The lecture “Just Beneath the Surface: Diving Adventures in Croatia” will be held on Tuesday, November 16 at 3:30 p.m. in Corless Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett. The free lecture is sponsored by Friends of Oceanography.

Klos’ travels took him to an island off the southern coast of Croatia where there are two marine lakes that abound with the jellyfish Aurelia aurita. Marine lakes are saltwater basins separated from the adjacent sea by a narrow passage and are unique ecosystems. For reasons unknown, jellyfish thrive in marine lakes around the world.

While in Croatia, the team of scientists established their field labs at an old Benedictine monastery on a small island in the larger of the lakes. For ten days they pursued a distant vision: to understand the biology of one of the simplest motile multicellular organisms that exist. Most of the dives were in clear, warm water about 100 feet deep, and they generally worked well above the bottom, drifting on the thermocline, in an environment populated entirely with a single species of jellyfish (and four divers from America).

The lecture is free and open to the public. For information call 874-6642.