URI oceanography lecture examines the global ocean through satellite technology

Narragansett, RI — November 29, 2004 — Satellite ocean color imagery and other data sources help scientists study variations in the global ocean. From a view in space, scientists can examine the ocean from a perspective that explains and enhances what they have learned from first-hand observation.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) will host the first in a series of Inaugural Lectures scheduled for the 2004-2005 academic year.

“Variability in the global ocean as evidenced in satellite ocean color and other imagery” will be presented on Thursday, December 9, at 12:30 p.m. by Dr. James Yoder, URI biological oceanographer. The lecture will be held in Corless Auditorium on the URI Bay Campus in Narragansett.

Yoder’s research group uses satellite ocean color imagery and other data sources to study variability in the global ocean. They are trying to answer questions such as: How do seasonal cycles in phytoplankton chlorophyll differ among different regions of the global ocean? How persistent from year-to-year are the seasonal patterns within a particular ocean region? Where is interannual variability most important, and what are its causes? How variable is the ocean on a day-to-day basis, and how does this high frequency variability compare to variability at longer time scales?

For this lecture, Yoder will discuss the results of analyses of a 6-year (1997-2003) continuous time series that he and his group created using satellite imagery. They also created a similar time series to cover the high latitude regions of the ocean for the spring, summer and fall seasons in the respective hemispheres (i.e. when there is sufficient sunlight so that “ocean color” can be detected from satellites).

A resident of Kingston, Yoder received a B.A. botany from Depauw University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. Yoder’s research interests include using satellite sensors to study the relation between physical and biological processes in ocean margin and open ocean waters. He teaches graduate level courses on oceanographic processes affecting biological productivity of ocean margin waters and on marine bio-optics and ocean remote sensing.

The audience for the Inaugural Lectures is the scientific community and the general public with an interest in and knowledge of science. Although technical in nature, Yoder’s talk will not be aimed specifically at biological or physical oceanographers. The purpose of the talks is to inform the scientific community about the nature and significance of research being carried out by GSO scientists.

The lectures are free and open to the public. For information, call 874-6246.