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Honors Colloquium

Reel Bites  
All clips were filmed, directed, edited by Mary Healey Jamiel, Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island, serving jointly in Film Media and Communication Studies.
Mary Healy-Jamiel
URI faculty discuss the impacts of climate change on Rhode Island ecosystems.

Candace Oviatt, URI Graduate School of Oceanography.Oviatt Video

Dr. Candace Oviatt, Professor of Biological Oceanography, discusses the impact of climate change on Narragansett Bay biota. She has worked at the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) in many aspects of coastal ecology and is currently studying low oxygen events in Narragansett Bay with a large research team. Candace is also an Associate Director of the Coastal Institute and a member of the team leading the Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) NSF program for graduate students to facilitate communication between scientists and environmental managers. Candace has a cooperative program with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Water Resources to maintain a fixed and buoy site network to monitor Narragansett Bay for water quality during the summer months. For more information on her program see and at the GSO web site look for her faculty profile under Faculty.


Rainer Lohmann, URI Graduate School of Oceanography.Lohmann Video

Dr. Rainer Lohmann, Assistant Professor of Oceanography, discusses the threat of organic pollutants to humans and the environment in a changing world. Professor Lohmann received his Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from Lancaster University, England (UK) in 2000. He then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow, and moved to the Research Center for Ocean Margins (Bremen, Germany) as a fellow for most of 2004. Since November 2004 he has been Assistant Professor in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography. His current research interests include the global fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), the bioavailability of organic pollutants in sediments, and the use of passive samplers to measure the activities of organic compounds in air, water and sediment. (See at

Thomas Mather, URI Dept. Plant Sciences. Mather Video

Dr. Thomas Mather, Professor of Plant Sciences, discusses the debate about the impact of global warming on vector-borne disease epidemics and outbreaks. For more on tick-borne disease prevention, go to While diseases transmitted by bloodsucking mosquitoes and ticks are more likely to be affected by climate than most other diseases, much more knowledge is needed before concluding that global warming will spawn catastrophic outbreaks and epidemics. Rigorous analysis is required to sort out coincidence from causality. The example of increasing rates of viral tick-borne encephalitis in Europe over the last 12 years being related more to demographic changes than rising temperature serves to emphasize the need for more studies to assess the possible relationship between global warming and vector-borne disease rates. (Read more at


Rebecca Robinson, URI Graduate School of Oceanography.Robonson Video

Dr. Rebecca Robinson, Assistant Professor at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography, discusses past climate change and the potential role for ocean biology in regulating atmospheric CO2. Her research focuses on the cycling of biologically important elements and their relationship with climate change on various timescales. She uses the stable isotopes of nitrogen in geological samples and modern waters to monitor the variation in the marine nitrogen cycle. Of particular interest is the role of the nitrogen cycle in regulating biological productivity and atmospheric CO2 concentrations both in the ancient and in the modern ocean. Robinson received an AB in Geology from Bryn Mawr College and a MS in Earth Sciences from the University of Southern California. Her PhD is in Marine Geology and Geochemistry from the University of Michigan.

Peter Paton, URI Dept. Natural Resources Science. Paton Video

Dr. Peter Paton, Professor of Natural Resources Science, discusses impacts of climate on biodiversity, with a focus on migratory shorebird use of critical stopover habitat. Dr. Paton's research focuses on the conservation of vertebrate populations, with an emphasis on birds and amphibians. He is particularly interested in the impact of urbanization on vertebrates in New England. To learn more about his current research, go to


Michael Pilson, URI Graduate School of Oceanography.Pilson Video

Dr. Michael Pilson, Emeritus Professor of Oceanography, discusses acidification of the oceans caused by the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. He has worked on several aspects of marine chemistry and biology, including studies of the physiology of snails and corals, and the ecology of experimental marine ecosystems. He has published a textbook on the chemistry of the sea, and has a long-standing interest on the effects of carbon dioxide.

Scott Nixon, URI Graduate School of Oceanography.Nixon Video

Scott Nixon, Professor of Oceanography and UNESCO/Cousteau Chair in Coastal Ecology and Global Assessment at the University of Rhode Island discusses how climate change may have altered the seasonal cycle of events in Narragansett Bay and weakened the formerly close links between the bottom of the bay and the overlying water. He has been studying the bay and other Rhode Island coastal ecosystems since 1969. He served for 16 years as Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program and for many years as Co-Editor-In-Chief of Estuaries, the journal of the Estuarine Research Federation. He has published over 100 scientific papers and served on numerous committees of the U.S. National Research Council, including the Ocean Studies Board. He has been recognized with several awards, including the Ketchum Award for excellence in coastal research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Odum Award from the Estuarine Research Federation for lifetime achievement.


Art Gold, URI Dept. Natural Resources Science.Gold Video

Dr. Arthur Gold, professor of Natural Resources Science, discusses climate change and our freshwater resources. His research focuses on watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry through the URI Watershed Hydrology Lab. He conducts process level and in situ studies on nitrate dynamics and uses GIS techniques to scale up from the site level to the watershed scale. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in watershed hydrology, eco-hydrology and watershed management. Dr. Gold leads the URI Extension Water Quality Program and theNortheast States and Caribbean Islands Regional Water Program. These integrated research/outreach programs facilitate watershed management by developing new methods and providing training for local and state decision makers.. To learn more about his research and outreach visit his websites:;

Kathryn Moran , URI Graduate School of Oceanography. Moran Video

Kathryn (Kate) Moran is a University of Rhode Island (URI) Professor with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Oceanography and the Department of Ocean Engineering. She is also a registered Professional Engineer and the Associate Dean for Research and Administration, Graduate School of Oceanography. Moran co-led the Integrated Ocean Drilling Programís Arctic Coring Expedition which recovered the first paleoclimate record from the central Arctic Ocean. She also led one of the first offshore expeditions to investigate the seafloor following the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Previously, she was the Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program; managed mission-specific drilling platform operations in the North Atlantic and Arctic; designed and developed oceanographic tools; participated in more than 35 offshore expeditions; and has served as Chair and member of national and international science and engineering advisory committees and panels. Professor Moran is active in public outreach (through public lectures, national panel discussions, and teacher training) on global climate change. Currently, Moran is spearheading a research initiative on Offshore Renewable Energy at the University of Rhode Island.



Isaac Ginis, URI Graduate School of Oceanography. Ginis Video

Dr. Isaac Ginis, Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island discusses the impact of climate change on hurricanes. He has an international reputation as a leading expert in numerical modeling and forecasting of air-sea interaction during hurricanes. Dr. Ginis is actively involved in both the U.S. and international tropical cyclone research and forecast communities. He has published over 70 papers in scientific journals and books on this topic and authored a chapter on hurricane-ocean interaction for the book “Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones” published by the World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland in 1995. His ground-breaking work in developing a coupled hurricane-ocean interaction model has led to significant improvement in hurricane forecasting. The U.S. National Weather Service has embraced this model and made it operational for the National Hurricane Center in 2001 in the Atlantic basin. In 2004, the model was implemented for the eastern Pacific basin and, in 2007, for global tropical cyclone forecasting by the U.S. Navy. Dr. Ginis is a recipient of several national awards, including the 2001 NOAA Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, the 2002 National Oceanographic Partnership Program Excellence Award. He has been named the 2002 Environmental Hero by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To learn more about his research please go to: