A grant has been awarded to the University of Rhode Island, under the direction of Dr Jennifer Specker to support modernization of the mechanical infrastructure of the Ann Gall Durbin Marine Research Aquarium at the Narragansett Bay Campus. Seawater is the lifeblood of any marine facility, upgrading the seawater system will improve the reliability, capacity, and safety of the Aquarium.
The Durbin Aquarium is a critical element of the marine research program at the Narragansett Bay campus of the University of Rhode Island (URI). This facility has a long history of internationally recognized research and a strong history of research funding. The location of the aquarium at the water's edge of the biologically rich Narragansett Bay estuary allows access to organisms and flowing seawater essential to the collection, maintenance, and study of marine life by students and scientists resident at the URI's Kingston and Bay Campuses and for many of the visitors to URI and the Graduate School of Oceanography. Its location, adjacent to estuarine waters, has facilitated the acquisition of some of the longest biological time series in the world. Plankton and fish time series date back to the 1950's and a nutrient dataset dates back to the mid 1970's.
The PI's have proposed an excellent long-term plan and are beginning to implement the broadening participation in research activities of the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) and more broadly disseminating the excitement of discovery. These efforts include: K-12 teacher's education; offering fellowships each summer to journalists who participate in research with scientists; and ongoing Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs. The proposed facility improvements will maintain the infrastructure to continue and expand these activities and impacts.