Catherine A. Cipolla

  • Marine Research Specialist III
  • Research
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Ocean Technology Center


Hi!  As a URI undergraduate, I worked in Jim Kennett’s Micro-Paleo Lab at GSO processing and identifying paleo foraminifera samples for ancient climate studies.  Upon graduation, I worked briefly at Gulf Oil in New Orleans.  I returned to RI and joined the GSO Facilities Dept. where I managed special projects and GSO Facility fiscal functions.  During this time, I also taught research scuba diving techniques to faculty and staff; designed and tested underwater research equipment, including open ocean applications off research vessels. I eventually took over the management of the Equipment Development Lab (EDL) in 1997 where my team designed, built and deployed scientific research equipment and instrumentation.  Among the instruments we helped design and develop with DOE was the SOMMA, which was patented by URI and became the world standard for analyzing total CO2 in seawater.  It was central to the CO2 global survey of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) and is the granddad to the DIC analyzer now used in the Wang Lab.  Over the years, my team and I have been involved with many research and instrument development programs for Academia, Federal Agencies, Military, as well as Private Enterprise.  After the University closed the EDL in 2023, I came full circle and joined the Wang Lab; working once again in CO2 analysis. When not at GSO, I live in Jamestown where I enjoy small sailboat racing, touring the country on my Harley, and camping with friends.


  • B.S. Zoology 1981 URI
  • B.S. Geology 1983 URI
  • NAUI Instructor 1983
  • MBA studies URI