Media Advisory: U.S. Commerce Secretary to Launch New Ocean Science Buildings at Scripps Oceanography, UC San Diego


WHAT: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will lead a groundbreaking event for two new buildings dedicated to ocean science on the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. These buildings will house state-of-the-art marine life tanks and cutting-edge science labs. This event will recognize the important benefits of investing in our nation's science and protecting diverse marine ecosystems.

WHO: Speakers will include: Gary Locke, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Margaret Spring, Chief of Staff for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Patrick D. Gallagher, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Jerry Sanders, Mayor of San Diego Tony Haymet, Ph.D., Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009

TIME: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Brief one-on-one media interviews will be possible immediately following formal remarks and a "ground breaking" photo opportunity.

WHERE: Building site at the Biological Grade entrance, Scripps campus Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif. Directions: I-5 north, exit La Jolla Parkway west, right/north onto La Jolla Shores Drive, left/west onto Biological Grade, veer left/south to parking lot. Look for media parking signs.

VISUALS: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and others will provide brief formal remarks. Immediately following will be a groundbreaking "dig" photo op with key dignitaries set against the Pacific Ocean backdrop. B-roll will be available in beta and digital formats.

BACKGROUND: Two new buildings supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce will be constructed on the Scripps Oceanography campus for ocean research related to marine fisheries management and research and marine ecology. Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA: Funding of $102 million identified under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has rapidly advanced construction plans for NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) Laboratory. When completed, the 120,000-square foot facility will house up to 300 staff members in laboratory, office and support space. The new building will incorporate a large sea- and fresh-water Ocean Technology Development Tank which will expand NOAA's ability to develop and apply advanced technologies for surveys of fisheries resources and their associated ecosystems.

This world-class facility will foster collaborations on fisheries management issues and will be a focal point for surveys and assessments of species, the development and application of ecosystem-based approaches to management, research on the impacts of environmental variability and climate change on marine ecosystems and fisheries and conservation socio-economics. Construction activity for the new facility is scheduled to begin in October 2009, with beneficial occupancy scheduled for October 2011.

Marine Ecosystem Sensing, Observation, and Modeling (MESOM) Laboratory: Scripps has been awarded $12 million by NIST toward construction of a new $26 million laboratory building on its campus for research on marine ecosystem forecasting. This new building will become a resource for marine ecological research at Scripps and for other national and international ocean science organizations that address the management of marine resources. The new facility will enable Scripps scientists to build upon a long history of successful research on marine ecosystems and their response to climate variability and change and to develop a new program that will provide the scientific foundation for marine ecosystem forecasting. The results of the research and modeling will benefit collaborations with NOAA's growing program in marine ecosystem management.

Construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin in early 2011 and be completed by late 2012.

Additional Contacts

<p>NIST Gail Porter 301-975-3393 NOAA Jim Milbury 562-980-4006</p>

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