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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI appoints Peter August to direct Coastal Institute

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 16, 2000 -- The University of Rhode Island has appointed Peter August, professor of natural resources at URI, to the new position of director of the URI Coastal Institute.

In his new role, August will direct the Institute's multidisciplinary efforts to address the critical science and public policy issues involving coastal systems around the world.

"Peter's background in applied ecology and his vision of using technology to help solve environmental problems in coastal regions makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Coastal Institute," said URI Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Beverly M. Swan. "I'm confident he will enhance the University's influence on marine and environmental research."

The Coastal Institute is a consortium of coastal researchers and practitioners from URI, state government, and those federal agencies and environmental organizations associated with the University. It serves as a nexus for scientific research and environmental problem solving for coastal ecosystems and their watersheds.

"Rhode Island is an excellent microcosm of coastal environmental problems experienced across the country," said August. "With some of the world's best scientists and environmental managers located here, the Coastal Institute can facilitate discussion, collaboration and cooperation among these stewards of our terrestrial and near-shore environments."

August has degrees from the University of San Diego, Texas Tech University, and Boston University, and he currently directs URI's Environmental Data Center (EDC), which uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the analysis of environmental data. The EDC has developed a comprehensive data library of Rhode Island's natural resources. It is currently working to enhance spatial data analysis capacity in the National Parks of the northeastern U.S., and to develop land acquisition models for the conservation of natural resources.

August recently served as a Councilor at Large for the U.S. Association of Landscape Ecologists, and presently serves on the board of directors of The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, and the South Kingstown Land Trust. He lives in Kingston.

The URI Coastal Institute is based in three separate facilities: a structure on URI's Bay Campus completed in 1996; a building on URI's Kingston Campus which will be completed later in 2000; and an aquaculture laboratory that will be built on the Bay Campus.

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For Information: Todd McLeish, 874-7892

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