URI Vetlesen Lecture Series continues with filmmaker’s talk on threatened underwater habitats, April 5

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 28, 2011 – Filmmaker and author Norbert Wu is the next speaker in the University of Rhode Island’s Vetlesen Lecture Series on the state of the oceans. His lecture, “Exploring the World’s Notable and Threatened Underwater Habitats,” is on April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

His presentation, in Edward’s Auditorium on the URI Kingston campus, is part of the University’s Vetlesen lecture series on “The State of the Oceans” in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Graduate School of Oceanography. Sponsored by the URI College of Arts and Sciences, the event is free and open to the public.

His illustrated lecture will document the most unique and threatened underwater habitats in the world and the challenges that they face.

Wu’s writing and photography have appeared in numerous books, films, and magazines, and he is the author and photographer of seventeen books on wildlife and photography, including a children’s book series on the oceans. Exhibits of his work have been shown at the American Museum of Natural History, the California Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Wu is the only photographer to have been awarded a Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship, the world’s most prestigious award in ocean conservation and outreach. In that capacity, he documented the ongoing alteration of the marine environment, including the deterioration of coral reefs around the world and the collapse of global fisheries.

He was named Outstanding Photographer of the Year in 2004 by the North American Nature Photographers Association, the highest honor an American nature photographer given by his peers. In 2000, he was awarded the Antarctica Service Medal “for his contributions to exploration and science in the U.S. Antarctic Program.”

Those unable to attend the lecture can watch it live online URI Live!

The lecture series is sponsored by the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, with individual lectures supported by the URI College of Arts & Sciences, the Harrington School of Communication and Media, and Rhode Island Sea Grant. The series is coordinated by Professors Steven D’Hondt, Arthur Spivack and Judith Swift, and Sunshine Menezes, director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

The remaining speakers in the series are:

Apr. 12 – Deborah Kelley, professor of marine geology and geophysics at the University of Washington, on “Measuring Change Across the Global Ocean.”

Apr. 26 – Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. senator, on “Steering a Course Toward a National Ocean Policy.”

For more information about the lecture series, visit www.uri.edu/vetlesen or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.