Winners of the Sea Grant-URI Research Photo Contest

Temitope Ogunwumi, an art/communication studies undergraduate student of from Cumberland, R.I., took first place in the Research & Scholarship Photo Contest co-sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island for “Train Tracks,” a shot in Chicago for a photography class assignment in January 2017, which explored themes of lines and symmetry in urban architecture.

Train Tracks

Ogunwumi took the photo for an advanced photography class. “It’s primarily a 35mm class, but my professor knew I liked digital photography as well, so she allowed me to do both,” Ogunwumi relates. “My friends and I usually spend our free time traveling and exploring large cities. We use photography as an outlet to document our adventures. This happened to be my second time visiting Chicago. One night during our stay, we decided to explore one of Chicago’s many train stations. After a little while of exploring we wound up stumbling across this area. I was intrigued by the tunnels and the way the tracks intersected one another. I quickly set my tripod up and took a couple photos before leaving.”

President Dooley presented the awards on Thursday, May 3, at 1 p.m. in the Alumni Center lounge on main campus.

“This contest demonstrates the global reach and talent of our students, faculty, researchers and staff and highlights, in brilliant photographs, the many opportunities available to members of the URI community,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “All of the submitted photos offer a glimpse into diverse scholarship, from faculty-led student trips abroad to labs right here in Rhode Island.”

The contest drew over 300 submissions from University of Rhode Island students showcasing fine art, photography, electron microscopy, computerized imaging outputs, polar exploration and underwater archeology, and from cellular-level research to composite-mapping techniques.

Second place went to Oceanography masters student, Megan Lubetkin of Cape Elizabeth, Maine for “Deepstaria Medusa” –  a photograph of a Deepstaria enigmatica jellyfish taken by a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Multidisciplinary Instrumention in Support of Oceanography time-lapse camera system mounted on remotely operated vehicle Hercules during an Exploration Vessel Nautilus expedition in November 2017. The dive was part of thesis research into the deep-sea slopes of the Barcena underwater volcano, which lies in a Mexican marine national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Revillagigedo Archipelago. “After completing my master’s, I hope to further pursue ocean exploration and applied research,” Lubetkin said.

Deepstaria Medusa

Third place went to Marine Affairs doctoral student, Jessica Vandenerg of Huntington Beach, California for “Afternoon Tea” – a photograph of an Indonesian jungle guide making tea for clients in the Malino Highlands, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, in July 2017. Vandenberg, who is co-advised by Associate Professor Carlos Garcia-Quijano and Assistant Professor Amelia Moore, has been doing dissertation fieldwork that mainly concentrates on small islands in the Spermonde archipelago; this photo was taken on a side trip to mainland Sulawesi to observe hill communities and their relationship to tourism and development. After graduation, Vandenberg “would like to remain in development and conservation in Indonesia.”

Afternoon Tea

Three honorable mentions:

CELS Natural Resources Science Professor Yeqiao Wang of Wakefield, who attended Northeast Normal University in China before coming to the U.S. for graduate studies, for “The Bay is Supposed to Be Frozen By Now,” a photo of a mother polar bear and her two cubs standing on the shores of Hudson Bay in the Arctic Ocean Oct. 21, 2016. After a lean summer, the bears were waiting for ice to form so they could hunt for their primary food source, ringed seals.





Master’s candidate Charlie Scott (Diné), who is in the College Student Personnel track in Human Development and Family Studies, and hails from Chinle, Ariz., for “Ghost.” The photo of juniper berries was taken in early January, 2018, at Canyon Del Muerto on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona as part of a study of aesthetics through an indigenous lens. Scott’s mother taught that the berries may be dried to form “ghost beads,” which are said to provide peace, protection, and good fortune to the wearer.




Wildlife conservation biology/film and Media undergraduate student Noah Rivard of Sharon, Mass., for “Security Guard,” a photo of a guard behind his desk, separated from the viewer by glass, taken during an August 2017 URI Photography Club-sponsored trip to Boston, Mass.