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Letters to the editor

The Push for Diversity

As a UNH graduate and mother of two Korean adoptees, I read with great interest the article See Me, Hear Me in the Spring '00 issue. The minority students quoted echoed comments made by my Asian daughter concerning the lack of a welcoming atmosphere toward minorities at UNH.

A part of me wished to have my daughter attend UNH. It is one of my favorite places on earth. Attending and graduating from UNH was an important experience for me, a white, middle-class person. However, my daughter was adamant about not even taking a campus tour, despite accompanying us to campus for many a hockey game. Instead, she will attend Arizona State University, a school with about a 10 percent minority population. I understand her decision and bless it.

I urge the entire UNH community to commit to diversity. Understanding, sensitivity and respect among all people are necessary to prepare students to be citizens and leaders. I applaud the administration's efforts and urge continued, consistent action. I also applaud the actions of the Black Student Union, which pushed for more diversity.

June Hermonat Keleher '71, '72G
Hollis, N.H.

In the Service of Peace

Congratulations to UNH for the vibrant Spring '00 issue of your magazine. University graduates are indeed poised to serve with distinction in "an increasingly interconnected world," as President Leitzel phrased it in her column.

I was struck particularly by the article ("Secrets and Spies") describing professor Douglas Wheeler's course History 537, Espionage in History. What a splendid way to stir the curiosity and enthusiasm of young people and to expand their knowledge of international relations, perhaps into a career. Three cheers for professor Wheeler's end-of-course question: "Can espionage, which has historically been used as a tool of war, be turned to the service of peace?" We oldsters might very well put on our thinking caps to address the same question, then act.

Ernestine E. King
Topsham, Maine

Artist Childe Hassam

Explore the Shoals

Thanks for the fine article on the Isles of Shoals in the Spring '00 issue. I've been a resident of the area for a little more than 10 years, and the isles have become a reference point for me when I am along the coast.

As head of the Milne Special Collections and Archives at the UNH Library, I'd like to note that we have some exciting collections and items related to the Isles of Shoals and their past. We have a substantial collection of Celia Thaxter's books, as well as some of her correspondence and literary manuscripts. Our New Hampshire Collections contain numerous nonfiction works about the Isles of Shoals, many of which came to us as a gift from Lewis M. Stark '29. Perhaps our most interesting item is a printed transcript from Louis Wagner's trial for the notorious Smuttynose murders. A number of novelists and playwrights have used it in writing about the case.

The University Archives have records dating back to the founding of the Shoals Marine Laboratory in 1928, as well as a wide range of more recent records, photographs and scrapbooks. Most recently, we were delighted to receive the photographs and negatives of the late George Sylvester, a local photographer who spent years photographing the Isles of Shoals. Thanks to his family's generosity, George's work will be open to all after it has been processed and indexed, most likely by the spring of 2001.

Descriptions of these materials and much more can be found on the UNH Special Collections Web site.

Bill Ross
Associate Professor and
Head, Milne Special Collections and Archives
Durham, N.H.

UNH alumni and friends who enjoyed the article on the Isles of Shoals (Spring '00) may wish to learn more about an organization dedicated to the study and enjoyment of the Shoals. The Isles of Shoals Historical and Research Association (ISHRA) was founded in 1991. The organization now has nearly 300 members, many of whom are UNH graduates. ISHRA holds two meetings a year, the second Tuesday in May and the second Tuesday in November. Both meetings are highlighted by interesting and lively Shoals-related programs. ISHRA also publishes a newsletter twice a year, and we organize an annual summer trip to Appledore Island and a September weekend conference on Star Island.

ISHRA is a wonderful network for those interested in many Shoals subjects, such as archaeology, buried treasure, geology, marine biology, fishing, diving, art, poetry, literature, history, Celia Thaxter, etc. Dues are $10 for an individual membership, $25 for a group membership and $5 for a junior membership. To join, send a check to Isles of Shoals Historical Research Association, P.O. Box 705, Portsmouth, N.H. 03801.

Donna Marion Titus
President, ISHRA
Manchester, N.H.

Fish Cage Engineering

An article in your Spring '00 issue ("The Flounder Roundup") described some aspects of the Open Aquaculture Demonstration Project at UNH. I would like to add that there was an engineering aspect to that project which was not discussed in the article. Three of the four members of the engineering faculty who were involved are UNH alumni, as are some of the graduate students and staff members who participated.

The engineering studies for the mooring that holds the fish cage in place were conducted in the Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory on campus. This lab has a wave/tow tank, 120 feet long, 12 feet wide and 10 feet deep, where models for the mooring design were tested. The site chosen for the cage is exposed to the furies of a Nor'easter or hurricane, which means the cage could be hit by waves more than 27 feet high -- not a trivial design criteria.

Many ideas for moorings were suggested, and a few were selected for further analysis. This resulted in a design that was tested extensively in the wave tank for worst-case conditions. Computer simulations incorporating the test results indicated that the line tensions could reach levels in the thousands of pounds, dictating lines with diameters from 1.5 to 3 inches. The anchors required a holding capacity of 40,000 pounds, and the mooring design needed one at each corner. These numbers suggest the critical nature of the mooring-system design.

As a result of all the careful planning and design, installation of the fish cage required only six days. The mooring system performed as designed, withstanding a full year of North Atlantic storms. It was retrieved from the ocean in June and is being revitalized as I write this letter. Worn components are being replaced, and the system is scheduled to be redeployed in late summer. A new system of sensors is being added to monitor the dynamics of the cage and mooring as they respond to the forces of the ocean. The data will be incorporated into the computer simulations, making them more realistic. This will complete the initial design cycle.

Ken Baldwin '77G
Professor, Mechanical and Ocean Engineering
Director, Center for Ocean Engineering
Durham, N.H.

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