URI to open Ocean Science and Exploration Center, Pell Marine Science Library, June 1

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$15 million facility includes Ballard’s Inner Space Center

WHO: Gov. Donald Carcieri, Sen. Jack Reed, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, URI President Robert L. Carothers, URI Oceanography Dean David Farmer, URI Professor Robert Ballard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Assistant Administrator Richard Spinrad, and NOAA Rear Adm. Jonathan Bailey.

WHAT: The University of Rhode Island will celebrate the opening of the Ocean Science and Exploration Center and the Pell Marine Science Library, including Ballard’s Inner Space Center, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. Funded largely by state bonds, the $15 million facility also houses office and laboratory space, a central computing facility and a new campus gathering place. The Inner Space Center, which Ballard first envisioned almost 30 years ago, will be linked to research ships at sea enabling scientists and students to participate in ocean-going research expeditions without leaving campus.

WHEN: Monday, June 1, 2009 at 10 a.m. A one-hour speaking program will be followed by a brief ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house with self-guided tours. Ballard, Farmer, and a URI student will be available for brief interviews from 9 to 9:30 a.m. in the building lobby prior to the event.

WHERE: Beneath a tent at the main entrance to the URI Narragansett Bay Campus, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, R.I.

CONTACT: For additional information about covering this event, contact Todd McLeish in the URI Department of Communications & Marketing at 401-874-7892 or tmcleish@uri.edu.