2006 Workshop Agenda

Eighth Annual Workshop for Journalists
Coastal Impacts: Marine and Environmental Science for Journalists
June 11-16, 2006
View Past Workshop Agendas

Day 1
Measuring Water Quality in an Estuary

Morning: Fieldwork
Overview of natural history, development and regulatory issues in the area. Take water samples, using sterile water bottles for indicator bacteria analyses, temperature and salinity measurements, using a YSI probe, and light penetration measurements, using a Secchi disk, at four stations.

Afternoon: Lab Practicum
Overview of estuarine ecology and water quality in Narrow River and the lab practicum. Examination of data from the Pettaquamscutt River estuary at three lab stations. 1) Processing of water samples for bacterial indicators of fecal contamination using traditional and rapid methods. 2) Examination and discussion of plankton under the microscope and discussion. 3) Examination of core samples from a 13,000-year Narrow River sediment record showing changes in Earth’s climate over time. Looking at seasonal variability in the upper layers of the sediment column using Sediment Profile Imagery (SPI).

Public Lecture
Biological Invasions in the Sea: Science, History and Policy
JAMES T. CARLTON, Williams College, Williams-Mystic

Evening: Panel
Communicating Scientific Research: Perspectives on the Sharing of Information
SUNSHINE MENEZES, Metcalf Institute, Moderator


Day 2
Assessing the State of Fisheries

Morning: Fieldwork
Fisheries research trawl in Narragansett Bay aboard the R/V John H. Chafee with Tim Lynch, Principal Marine Fisheries Biologist, Capt. Rick Mello and Associate Capt. Ken Benson. Sampling in DEM-designated area off Jamestown: identify species; fish count; log catch data. Take measurements of surface and bottom water temperature. Discuss the implications of these numbers for the biology of Narragansett Bay. Discuss fisheries issues.

Afternoon: Lab Practicum
Introductory presentation on trawling impacts on Georges Bank. Introduction to GSO fish trawl datasets in Excel. Fellows will examine the data and use the scientific method to compare trends, and consider possible explanations for changes in the data over time. Fellows will break into three groups to review catch records, explore trends and pursue a hypothesis that explains changes in the data. Internet research can be conducted for additional species data as needed. With assistance from graduate students, the groups will synthesize data and prepare 10-minute scientific presentations on catch data trends in Narragansett Bay using Powerpoint. Presentations are to be delivered this evening after dinner.

Public Lecture
A World Without Sharks: Consequences of Global Loss of Ocean Predators
RANSOM A. MYERS, Dalhousie University

Evening: Presentations by 2006 Metcalf Fellows
Role Reversal Exercise with Metcalf fellows, GSO scientists.


Day 3
The Migrating Shoreline: Measuring Coastal Erosion

Morning: Fieldwork
Obtain a beach profile, collect data for lab practicum, and look at shoreline changes. Discuss geologic habitats of barriers and shoreline processes.

Afternoon: Lab Practicum
Plot beach profile data and create long-term data set for Charlestown Beach in Excel.

Public Lecture
The Shifting Landscape of Environmental Journalism

Follow-up Lab Practicum
Counting bacteria and data analysis of Monday’s water samples. Present YSI data results. Discuss interpretation of the results, why the test is performed, and the role of fecal coliform as an indicator organism.

Evening: Presentation
Planning for Sustainable Water Use
HAROLD WARD, Brown University


Day 4
Salt Marsh Restoration: Reversing Decades of Land Use Impacts

Morning: Field Trip to the Galilee Bird Sanctuary
This field trip will give participants a first-hand look at the ecology and values of salt marshes and witness one of the largest coastal wetland restoration projects in New England.

Afternoon: News Reporting Seminar
Perspectives on Hurricane Preparedness
PETER B. LORD, The Providence Journal; ISAAC GINIS, GSO; PAM RUBINOFF, URI Coastal Resources Center; JEANNE BOYLE, City of East Providence

Public Lecture
The Ocean’s Role in the Future of the Planet
THOMAS DELWORTH, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Evening: Lecture and Discussion
Science and Public Policy, or If Making Public Policy is Analogous to Making Sausage, Then Which Sausage Ingredient is Analogous to the Science Component of Policy?
ROBERT VANDERSLICE, Rhode Island Department of Health


Day 5
Morning: Presentation
Geographic Information Systems

Public Lecture
Science in the Political Arena
DAVID GOLDSTON, Majority Staff for the House Committee on Science


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