MacArthur Fellow to discuss ‘Saving Our Blue Serengeti’ in URI’s Fish/Vetlesen Lecture, Dec. 1

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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – November 12, 2015 – Barbara Block, a Stanford University oceanographer who was awarded a MacArthur genius grant and a Rolex Award for Enterprise, will present a lecture titled “Saving Our Blue Serengeti” at the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Campus Dec. 1 at noon.


The event, which is the URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s annual Charles and Marie Fish Lecture and part of GSO’s Vetlesen Distinguished Lecture Series, will take place in the Coastal Institute auditorium. It is free and open to the public.


Block holds the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professorship at Stanford, where she studies how large pelagic fish use the open ocean. She and her research team have pioneered the successful development and deployment of electronic tags on tunas, billfish and sharks. In 2006, she founded the Tag A Giant Fund at The Ocean Foundation to elevate science and conservation initiatives for bluefin tuna. She is committed to science communication and has helped curate aquarium and museum exhibits on ocean science.


Block is currently working with Discovery Communications to film her fourth documentary, called Blue Serengeti, which will highlight results from her extensive pelagic predator electronic tagging program, as well as the secret lives of white sharks off the central coast of California. This work will be the basis of her URI lecture.


Block began her oceanographic career at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1979 and then undertook a post- doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her doctorate in 1986 at Duke University. She was an assistant professor at the University of Chicago before joining the Stanford faculty in 1994. Block has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers.


The Charles and Marie Fish Lecture is supported by income from the Charlie and Bobbie Fish Endowment for Oceanography, which was established by Marilyn Munro and family in memory of her parents. Through their joint efforts, the Fishes established a marine biological program in 1935, and eventually a graduate program in oceanography at the Narragansett Marine Laboratory, which later became the Graduate School of Oceanography.


The lecture is co-sponsored by the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation.


For directions or more information about lecture, call the URI Office of Marine Programs at 401-874-6211.