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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 grad student selected tops in his field by NOAA

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 9, 2001 -- A University of Rhode Island student was named one of the top four graduate students in the country studying marine affairs by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Braxton Davis a doctoral candidate in the URI Department of Marine Affairs, was presented with NOAA’s Walter B. Jones Memorial Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on October 3.

Named for the congressman who played a key role in reauthorizing the Coastal Zone Management Act in 1990, the award for excellence in coastal and marine graduate study recognizes students whose academic work promises to contribute materially to the development of new or improved approaches to coastal or ocean management.

A native of Lynchburg, Va. currently living in Wakefield, Davis, 29, is in the third year of his doctoral program at URI, where he is evaluating and comparing the diverse approaches that coastal states have taken in applying Special Area Management Plans to address key issues within important coastal zones.

"Half of the U.S. population lives within coastal counties. There is incredible growth in these coastal areas, bringing with it pressures on natural resources and a variety of social, economic and planning issues," Davis explained. "So I’m creating a national inventory of these special management areas that will allow states to see how other states are using special area management planning."

Davis was nominated for the NOAA award by URI faculty members Niels West, Richard Burroughs and Dennis Nixon. "The uniqueness of Braxton’s contribution to the field is that he is trying, for the first time that I am aware of, to develop a model that will help us to manage all of our marine protected areas," West said. "Most of the studies that have been done so far have been case studies that apply only to one particular site. I’m delighted to say that he has set the pace for what this department is all about."

Upon completion of his degree, Davis plans to enter either academia or government service, where he could work in a wide variety of state or federal agencies that deal with coastal research and planning. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in biological sciences from Florida International University.
For Information: Todd McLeish 401-874-7892

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