Virginia Teen Challenges Experts with PFIESTERIA Findings; To Present Prize-Winning Research at Inte

June 20, 2001

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- ITT Industries, Inc.

(NYSE: ITT) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) today announced Brenda

Goguen, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in

Alexandria, Virginia, as this year's U.S. winner for the Stockholm Junior

Water Prize, the world's most prestigious water science prize for youth.

Goguen, whose research challenges the theory that Pfiesteria picicida caused

the crippling fish kills in the late 90s in the Chesapeake Bay region, will go

on to compete with finalists from 22 countries during World Water Week in

Stockholm, Sweden, with a grand prize presented by HRH Crown Princess Victoria

of Sweden.

    Goguen's project examined the microbial characteristics of Pfiesteria --

an organism believed to exist widely in a nontoxic, benign state, but with the

ability to attack fish by emitting powerful toxins when changing shape and

behavior.  Goguen studied DNA in soil sediments taken from five rivers that

empty into the Chesapeake Bay, from an experimental fish tank at the Center

for Marine Biotechnology (COMB) in Baltimore, Md., and from samples purported

to be pure amoeboid Pfiesteria cultures (tester samples).

    The results of Goguen's studies cast doubt on the validity of the

prevailing hypothesis that Pfiesteria preys upon fish.  Her research points

out that there may be other organisms causing the fish kills, and invites

broader thinking and further study. In addition, her findings may have

implications for the agricultural industry, as some researchers have linked

high levels of nutrients, such as fertilizer and animal waste, to outbreaks of

the toxic form of Pfiesteria.

    "While the judges were impressed with the level of sophistication shown in

all of the students' projects, Brenda showed courage in questioning a

prevailing viewpoint," said WEF Past President Charles Sorber, who led the

judging panel. "Her methodology was sound and disciplined, and she took on an

area that is so contemporary, she did not have the aid of a large body of

existing research."

    "A project of this magnitude and importance to the scientific community

truly demonstrates that young people can provide unique insights into solving

today's problems," said Thomas Martin, Senior Vice President and Director of

Corporate Relations for ITT Industries. "For the past five years we've been

sponsoring the prize, we've seen more than 200 national finalists from around

the world tackling issues as complex as contamination of drinking water

supplies and the effects of pollution on wildlife."

    Sponsored globally by ITT Industries and organized in the U.S. by WEF, the

Stockholm Junior Water Prize was established to encourage the interest of

young people in water environment issues at the regional, national, and

international levels. The prize, now in its fifth year, is awarded to high

school students who have contributed to water science through outstanding

original research. Student submissions are judged by water experts from WEF on

the basis of relevance, creative ability, scientific procedure, subject

knowledge, and presentation.

    Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a

not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied

disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of

the global water environment. The WEF network includes more than 100,000 water

quality professionals from 77 Member Associations in 31 countries.

    ITT Industries, Inc. (NYSE: ITT) is a global engineering and manufacturing

company employing 42,000 people worldwide, with reported sales of $4.8 billion

in 2000.  ITT supplies advanced technology products and services in key

markets including: electronic interconnects and switches; defense


opto-electronics, information technology and services; fluid and water

management and specialty products.  In addition to the New York Stock

Exchange, ITT Industries is traded on the Midwest, Pacific, London, Frankfurt

and Paris exchanges.

Source: ITT INdustries