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News Release

Date: February 8, 2006
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College-Germantown to Host Talk about Underwater Mountains
Pete Wiley to Share Experiences from Recent Ocean Expedition

The web coordinator for a recent expedition funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service, Pete Wiley, will speak at Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus on Thursday, Feb. 23, as part of the 2005-2006 Spectrum Lecture Series.  His talk, entitled “Exploration of Seamount Chains,” will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Globe Hall, which is located in the High Technology and Science Center, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown, Md.  This event is free and open to the public.

Like all Spectrum Lectures, Wiley’s lecture is designed for a non-scientific audience, enabling scientists, students, and the community to learn about ground-breaking advancements in science.  It will cover his experiences on the North Atlantic Stepping Stones 2005 Expedition to study the Corner Rise and New England underwater mountain chains, which are called seamount chains.  From August 7 through September 3 of last year, the explorers used a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system to get images and collect corals and organisms living within the seamount chains.  According to the expedition’s website, scientists wanted to learn “if the seamounts function as "stepping stones;" allowing hard substrate organisms, like deep-sea corals; to disperse among these deep-sea "islands" and expand their ranges across the Atlantic Ocean Basin.”

The speaker, Pete Wiley, is an economist with the National Ocean Service’s Special Projects Division.  He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Mary's College of Maryland and a master’s degree in economics from the George Washington University.  North Atlantic Stepping Stones 2005 was his first Ocean Exploration cruise.

For questions or to request accommodations for physical disability, please contact Professor Susan Bontems at 301-353-7740 or

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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