2003 Workshop Agenda

Fifth Annual Workshop for Journalists
June 15-20, 2003
View Past Workshop Agendas

Day 1
2:00-5:00 p.m. Arrival and check-in, URI W. Alton Jones Campus, Whispering Pines Conference Center, Sycamore Lodge.

JACKLEEN DE LA HARPE, Metcalf Executive Director
Overview of Monday’s activities
VERONICA BEROUNSKY, URI Graduate School Of Oceanography

The Metcalf Institute and science journalism (Sycamore Lodge Livingroom)
LEWIS ROTHSTEIN, URI Graduate School Of Oceanography, Metcalf Science Co-Director and
PETER B. LORD, The Providence Journal, Metcalf Journalism Co-Director
Review of workshop logistics
KATHARINE MCDUFFIE, Metcalf Program Assistant

Metcalf Fellows introductions and informal discussion

Day 2
Measuring Water Quality in an Estuary
Arrive at Sprague Bridge on the Narrow River. Overview of natural history and regulatory issues in the area. Driving tour along Narrow River. Continue to Pettaquamscutt Beach. Overview of kayaking, water safety and water sampling. Put in kayaks.

Paddle kayaks to first water sampling stop. Demonstration of YSI probe to measure temperature, salinity and oxygen, Secchi disks to measure light penetration, Niskin bottle and plankton net. Collect first water sample. Paddle south and collect second water sample. Pull out kayaks at Mettatuxet beach. Return to GSO.

Overview of URI Graduate School of Oceanography

Lab Practicum (South Lab)
Overview of water column ecology and the lab practicum. In smaller groups, review fecal coliform processing, microscope work with plankton, and discussion about water quality.

Public Panel Discussion (Coastal Institute Auditorium)
Wind Turbines in Nantucket Sound–Any Objections?
SCOTT MACKAY, The Providence Journal, moderator; DENNIS DUFFY, Cape Wind
Associates; ISAAC ROSEN, Executive Director, Alliance to Save Nantucket Sound; JAMES EDSON, Metereologist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The proposed offshore wind farm has generated disagreement among fishermen, environmentalists, unions, and property owners. Panelists will debate the objections to this renewable energy, who stands to gain or lose, and the environmental repercussions of what could be the first offshore wind farm in the U.S.

Depart for W. Alton Jones Campus

Overview of Tuesday field and lab activities

Evening Lecture (Spruce conference room)
What’s in the Water?
ROBERT VANDERSLICE, R.I. Department of Health
How do public health officials address problems in the water supply when the science is complex and the politics confusing? Vanderslice will talk about water quality as it relates to public health and public policy.

Day 3
Assessing the State of Fisheries
Arrive Wickford Marina, board Cap’n Bert.
Depart no later than 8 a.m. Fisheries trawl in Narragansett Bay. Sampling at Fox
Island: identify species; fish count; log catch data; ichthyoplankton tow; discuss fisheries issues.
Return to dock at Wickford Marina. Depart for GSO.

Lab Practicum (Large Conference Room)
Review annual catch record, plot data, consider changes over time. Review online resources for scientific research.

Public Lecture (Coastal Institute Auditorium)
The Nature Conservancy: Transparency and Accountability of Environmental Groups
DAVID B. OTTAWAY, The Washington Post
Based on The Washington Post investigative series that detailed the strong corporate ties of The Nature Conservancy, one of country’s largest nonprofits, Ottaway will talk about the importance of understanding the practices and underlying agendas of environmental groups.

Depart for W. Alton Jones Campus

Overview of Wednesday activities

Evening Lecture (Spruce conference room)
Scientific Presentations
Three groups, 10 minutes each

Day 4

The Migrating Shoreline: Measuring Coastal Erosion
Arrive East Beach: undeveloped barrier beach. Charlestown Beach: developed barrier beach, obtain a beach profile, collect data for lab practicum, look at shoreline changes. South Kingstown Beach, Matunuck: headland erosion, zoning issues, emergency management plans. Depart for lunch.

Lab Practicum (Large Conference Room, Coastal Institute)
Plotting beach profile data, long-term data set for Charlestown Beach.

Public Lecture
Ocean Politics and Policy in America: Sizing up the Commissions Reports
DR. JOHN FARRINGTON, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Congress each created commissions to review the state of the global oceans. The findings of these reports are due to be announced shortly. What are the outcomes of the 1969 commission report and how will ocean policy change as a result of the new reports?

Follow-up Lab Practicum (Coastal Institute Room 226-227, David Smith’s lab)
Counting and data analysis of Monday’s water samples. Discussion: Interpreting the fecal coliform results, why the test is performed, and the role of fecal coliform as an indicator organism.

Depart for W. Alton Jones Campus

Evening Lecture (Spruce conference room)
Watershed Management
DR. STEPHEN OLSEN, Coastal Resources Center
Olsen will talk about watershed and wetlands management.

Day 5
Introduction to regional wetlands issues, Peter B. Lord, Environment Writer, The Providence Journal

Field Trip
Ecology and Land Use Aspects of Wetlands
FRANK GOLET, Professor, Natural Resources Sciences, URI
Golet will lead a walking tour of four wetland sites at the Nettie Marie Jones Nature Preserve on the W. Alton Jones Campus, including a lakeside swamp, a headwaters swamp, a wet meadow and a vernal pool. Following the walk, the group will return to Whispering Pines for discussion on wetland regulatory and management issues.

Afternoon Lecture and Discussion (Spruce Living Room)
Telling a Difficult Story
PETER LORD, Environment Writer, JEAN PLUNKETT, Editor, The Providence Journal
Some 3,000 kids are poisoned by lead paint in Rhode Island every year, but until last year nobody was saying much about it–politicians weren’t acting and journalists weren’t covering it. Lead paint poisoning is a chronic problem that largely afflicts the poor. How can stories like this be covered in a way that gets people to care? Project editor Jean Plunkett, reporter Peter B. Lord and photographer John Friedah talk about how the story came about.

Depart for GSO

Public Lecture (Coastal Institute Auditorium)
Environmental Business: Corporate America Prepares for Climate Change
MINDY S. LUBBER, Executive Director, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
Climate change is still a question mark for many American businesses. But shareholders are beginning to apply pressure on corporations to address climate change in their business plans. Lubber, the former Regional Administrator for EPA New England, will describe the cost effectiveness of addressing climate change using examples from DuPont, British Petroleum, and Alcoa.

Depart for Newport

Evening Lecture
Constituency of Ignorance
CORNELIA DEAN, Science Editor, The New York Times
In public issues ranging from health care to climate change to antimissile defense, scientific questions loom large. Often, though, the scientific information citizens need to understand these issues is twisted or ignored by those with vested interests. How can journalists meet this challenge?

First van departs for W. Alton Jones Campus

Second van departs for W. Alton Jones Campus – meet at the Wave

Day 6

Check out.
All luggage upstairs at Sycamore. Coffee available.

Depart for GSO.

Morning Presentation (Large Conference Room, Coastal Institute)
Geographic Information Systems
DR. PETER AUGUST, Director, Coastal Institute On Narragansett Bay
Journalists will look at geographical information systems (GIS) to learn how map data are accessed and analyzed, and how visual data are interpreted by scientists and journalists. Special attention will be given to GIS data sources available on the Internet.

Public Lecture (Coastal Institute Auditorium)
Science Literacy and Public Policy: Why Americans Need to Know
DR. DAVID L. EVANS, Under Secretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution
Stem cell research, global warming, endangered species, natural resource allocation, GMOs, artifical intelligence — many of today’s most pressing public issues are either caused by or informed by science. What does the public need to know to participate in a functioning democracy?

Fellows turn in completed last Surveys

Metcalf Institute Advisory Board Meeting (Large Conference Room, Coastal Institute

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