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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Has Visible Role in National Oceans Conference and in Lisbon World’s Fair

March 12, 1998

With 1998 declared the International Year of the Ocean by the United Nations and President Clinton, marine research and engineering are major topics of discussion at both the upcoming National Oceans Conference in Monterey, California, and at EXPO ’98, the world’s fair in Lisbon, Portugal. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the largest private independent marine research organization in the United States, is participating prominently in both activities.

WHOI Director Dr. Robert B. Gagosian will participate in the National Oceans Conference June 11-12 in Monterey, California, as will both Vice President Albert Gore and President William Clinton, who will give the keynote address. “Oceans of Commerce, Oceans of Life” is the theme of the two-day conference, hosted by Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley and Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton. Much of the discussion and audience interaction will take place at four panel discussions on oceans and commerce; oceans and global security; ocean environment and health; and ocean education, exploration, and research.

Dr. Gagosian will deliver remarks and participate in the panel discussion on “Education, Exploration, and Research” with such other national figures as Dr. Rita Colwell, who has been nominated to serve as the next Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF); Dr. Neal Lane, the current NSF Director and nominee for the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Admiral James Watkins, former Secretary of Energy and current President of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education; and Marine Biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle.

The WHOI Director will then travel to Lisbon to participate in a Year of the Ocean Symposium at the U.S. Pavilion at EXPO ’98 in Lisbon, Portugal, as part of a celebration of U.S. National Day June 14. Opening remarks will be given by

Ambassador Tony Coelho, U.S. Commissioner General, with a Keynote Address by Secretary of Education Richard Riley. Dr. Gagosian will make a video presentation on exploration of the sea and will discuss modern deep sea exploration on a panel with Secretary of the Navy John Dalton and others. They will answer questions from an audience of both Portuguese and American students in Lisbon.

The Institution has a visible role in the U.S. Pavilion, with an Institution theme of building and sharing a fundamental understanding of the ocean and its interaction with our planet through video presentations and exhibits. One of a few organizations featured in the U.S. Pavilion’s state room, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution provided an exhibit focused on research at sea which features photographs, text in several languages, and a brief video of various instruments and equipment being deployed or recovered at sea.

WHOI also produced the eight-minute film which is the centerpiece of the U.S. Pavilion’s theater. Entitled “Discover Planet Ocean,” the film is narrated by Jean-Michel Cousteau and features both coastal and deep sea footage provided by WHOI. The film was produced by the Institution in cooperation with Gabriel Films of New York specifically for the U.S. Pavilion at the request of the U.S. Pavilion organizing committee and the U.S. Navy.

EXPO ’98 opened May 22 and is expected to attract several million visitors before it closes in late September. It is the largest and last world’s fair this century, with more than 140 participating nations.


For Further Information contact:
Shelley Lauzon
Senior News Officer
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, 02543
Phone: 508-289-2270
FAX: 508-457-2180