Skip to main content
Sustainability

Sustainability Research


As the state of Rhode Island's flagship research institution, sustainability is a topic of great interest to the dozens of faculty here who are helping to solve the most critical environmental issues for the New England region, and for the world. The University of Rhode Island is a Land Grant and Sea Grant institution, meaning that the University is granted land by the government which it can use to conduct research and educate future researchers, and is involved with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in marine conservation research. As an institution conducting work that is greatly involved with the environment, it is a priority to conduct sustainability research. This page will highlight the efforts that the University has made to elevate the profile of sustainability research in an academic setting.

 

Increasing Environmental Literacy

In order to increase the amount of research we conduct on campus, students are engaged with faculty who will help them acquire the necessary skills early in their academic careers. The University of Rhode Island has extensive and successful environmental science programs already in place, specifically, curricula in the natural sciences, environmental and natural resource economics, oceanography, ocean engineering and marine affairs. A majority of graduate programs fall into these categories, but other undergraduate programs cover a wide variety of educational focus which often are related to sustainability, such as the newly-created Green Business double major. 

One of the challenges of increasing sustainability research is encouraging undergraduate students, who are not enrolled in any of the "traditional" science programs, to concentrate on sustainability issues, mainly through interdisciplinary studies. The University has created a sustainability minor, introduced the Grand Challenges program which focuses on bringing real global issues into undergraduate classrooms, and introduced new graduate programs like the Blue MBA that prepare graduate students to develop business models with sustainability in mind.

There is also a leadership workshop supported by the Office of the Provost, Infusing Sustainability into the Curriculum, that informs faculty and staff of ways to complement their current curricula with sustainability topics and ways to engage students with issues of global importance. Modeled after Emory University’s Piedmont Project, the workshop provides an innovative approach that has been intellectually stimulating and collegial for the faculty. More information about the workshop can be found here.

 

Increasing Research Opportunities

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in the move to increase sustainability research on campus is defining and identifying these kinds of research opportunities for the students and staff who want to study the links between the local campus community and global sustainability issues. By turning our focus to sustainability research, we can attract new researchers and promote future research to both students and staff. Currently, there are initiatives in place that can help to fulfill this goal; the Office of The Vice President for Research and Economic Development has supported start-up grants for new research initiatives in the past, and the URI Transportation Center provides an opportunity at the graduate and undergraduate levels alike to further research on sustainable transportation.

 

URI Sustainability Researchers

The list below contains a list of URI faculty known to be conducting sustainability research. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all faculty at URI who are conducting research. We are working with the Research Office to produce a more accurate inventory. Any faculty currently conducting research or thinking about starting research should contact the Sustainability Office.

 

Name

 

Department

Aaron Bradshaw

  Civil & Environmental Engineering

Robert Campbell

  Oceanography

Vinka Craver

 

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Brian Crawford

  Coastal Resources Center

Tracey Dalton

  Marine Affairs

Simon Engelhart

  Geosciences

Isaac Ginis

  Oceanography

Arthur Gold

  Natural Resources Science

Marta Gomez-Chiarri

  Fisheries, Animal & Veterinary Science

Annette Grilli

  Ocean Engineering

Thomas Husband

  Natural Resources Science

Albert Kausch

  Cell & Molecular Biology

Dorothy Kellogg

 

Coastal Institute

Jason Kolbe

 

Biological Sciences

Najih Lazar

  Fisheries, Animal & Veterinary Science

K. Wayne Lee

 

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Rainer Lohmann

  Oceanography

Jennifer McCann

  Coastal Resources Center

Susanne Menden-Deuer

  Oceanography

Laura Myerson

  Natural Resources Science

Serena Moseman-Valtierra

  Biological Sciences

Jimmie Oxley

  Chemistry

Christopher Roman

  Oceanography

Lewis Rothstein

  Oceanography

Pam Rubinoff

  Coastal Resources Center

Tatiana Rynearson

  Oceanography

Gail Scowcroft

 

Office of Marine Programs, GSO

Theodore Smayda

  Oceanography

Rodrigue Spinette

  Cell & Molecular Biology

Thomas Sproul

  Environmental & Natural Resource Economics

Judith Swift

 

Coastal Institute

Elin Torell

  Coastal Resources Center

Yeqiao Wang

  Natural Resources Science

Yinjiao Ye

  Communication Studies

2/20/2013

Sustainability Search


Loading

More than 47,000 people, 9,700 ships and 127 planes spent months mopping up oil released during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Yet four years later, the tools to fight offshore oil spills remain remarkably rudimentary. 

Green Thinker

>> Alyssa Neill thinks green by growing green

More Green Thinkers