News briefs, June 3
Published - 06/02/10 - 04:15 PM | 1950 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Scripps robot will study oil spill

The Scripps Institute of Oceanography is sending an underwater robotic glider in the shape of a torpedo to evaluate the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Scripps will help attempt to find ways to track the oil.

The Deep Horizon oil well, leaking since April 20, is leased by British Petroleum, which over the past six years has provided Scripps with $8 million in funding, $750,000 of which was put toward glider-based studies. The original intention for the glider was to do research off the coast of California. The glider is equipped with a sensor that scientists hope might enable them to see the leak and track where the oil is going.

Crowds up, rescues down over holiday weekend

Attendance at citywide beaches over Memorial Day weekend was up nearly 50,000 from last year, according to the city’s Lifeguard Services.

Total attendance at beaches from Ocean Beach to La Jolla for the three-day weekend was 786,200, according to lifeguard figures.

Despite the growth in the number of beachgoers, lifeguards made only 144 water rescues, 75 less than last year.

During the weekend, lifeguards also recorded 190 medical aids and 4,811 “preventative acts.”

Surfrider to teach landscaping class

The Surfrider Foundation invites the public to learn how to plant an ocean-friendly garden. This specific type of landscaping requires little water and prevents ocean-polluting runoff by utilizing native plants and permeable mulch.

The project will also aid in restoring natural habitats to the region benefiting local wildlife. The Surfrider Foundation hopes to help people better understand the link between landscaping and the health of the ocean, reminding the public that urban runoff is the number one cause of ocean pollution.

Steve Roeder will open up his yard to the public to illustrate the landscaping lessons. The event will take place on Sunday, June 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Roeder’s Bird Rock home, 5560 Chelsea Ave. The public is encouraged to stop by throughout the day to witness the garden transformation.

In addition, the Surfrider Foundation is selling a how-to book about ocean-friendly gardening online at

Dorris Neuroscience Center dedicated

An endowment from Helen Dorris, a mental health advocate and San Diego State University professor emeritus, allows scientists to further understand the workings of the brain. Helen Dorris, through the Harold L. Dorris Neuroscience Foundation named for her brother, made a donation to the Scripps Research Institute, which launched the new Dorris Neuroscience Center, dedicated on May 25.

The new center merged two existing neuroscience research buildings into an enhanced space.

The endowment will continue to allow scientists to deepen their understanding of the brain and give rise to new strategies for the treatment of nervous system disorders. At the center, scientists in the early part of their careers are paired up with more established scientists. Together, the researchers conduct investigations into the sensory systems and the systems that govern memory, called neuronal circuitry.
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