Students at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography launch free talks about ocean science topics

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Dozens of people attend the “Bay Informed” discussion series June 22 at the Graduate School of Oceanography. Photo courtesy of Joe Langan.

NARRAGANSETT, R.I., July 13, 2017—Important research is going on at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, and students there are ready to explain it to you and answer your questions during free monthly talks.

“The Bay Informed Discussion Series” kicked off last month with a talk about climate change in the ocean and its influence on Narragansett Bay and will continue July 20 to discuss the influence of a warming ocean and atmosphere in causing severe weather.

“Storms on the Horizon: Climate Change and Weather” by graduate students Nyla Husain and Victoria Treadaway will start at 7 p.m. in GSO’s Corless Auditorium, 215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett. No registration is required; parking is available.

“Global warming is changing the way the ocean interacts with the atmosphere, causing stronger and more frequent severe weather across the globe,” says Joe Langan, program coordinator and doctoral student at GSO. “This seminar will describe how air-sea interactions affect marine weather by the transport of heat, momentum and gases at the ocean surface. We’ll also focus on how storms affect the atmosphere’s chemistry.”

Langan says the purpose of the monthly series is to inform the public about important environmental and scientific issues involving the ocean and spark an interest in getting involved locally and nationally.

“In the current media environment, we feel it’s important to communicate our science directly to the public and talk about some of the marine science issues in Rhode Island and across the globe,” says Langan. “We also want to get better communicating our science. We’re used to giving very technical presentations, but for the layperson they don’t make sense. This gives graduate students (at GSO) an opportunity to improve their science communication skills.”

Nearly 100 people attended last month’s event. The students gave presentations and then took questions from the audience. “The auditorium was filled,” Langan says. “We were happy with that, for sure.”

The August talk will be about carbon in the ocean, and plans for the following months include topics such as oceanography at the North and South Poles and studying past climate to understand future climate change. Talks will be on the third Thursday of every month through the academic year.

For more information, email gsobayinformed@gmail.com or visit the organizers’ Facebook page. https://m.facebook.com/bayinformed/