URI alumnus, expert on sustainable fisheries to lecture as part of Marine Affairs 50th anniversary

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 31, 2019 — In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Department of Marine Affairs, Brian Crawford, a senior Coastal Resources Manager at the University’s Coastal Resources Center will discuss small-scale fisheries in the developing world Wednesday, Nov. 6 on the Kingston Campus.

He is concerned with the topics of international development, marine conservation, sustainable fisheries, and integrated coastal management.

Crawford is one of four University alumni speaking in the URI Department of Marine Affairs Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series, which coincides with the department’s Golden Anniversary. The lecture will begin at noon, Wednesday, Nov. 6, and will take place in the Weaver Auditorium of the Coastal Institute, 1 Greenhouse Road on the Kingston Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Crawford graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in oceanography, and earned a master’s and doctorate in marine affairs, both from URI. He has over 30 years experience working in international development in Asia, Latin America and Africa in marine conservation, sustainable fisheries and integrated coastal management. Over the last five years, he has focused on small-scale fisheries in West Africa, where he has overseen the implementation of several United States Agency for International Development (USAID) initiatives working on the development of ecosystem-based, co-management approaches for fisheries that are critical to food security in West Africa. He has worked to empower women in these areas through improvements in the fisheries value chain, and established collective use rights for female oyster harvesters and sole fishermen in the Republic of The Gambia.

He serves as the project manager for the USAID Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project, and previously spent two years in Ghana as the project’s chief of party. The project aims to support Ghana’s national fisheries policies by rebuilding marine fish stocks that are important to food security in Ghana and the entire West African region. Crawford has served the University as the Coastal Resources Center’s interim director, and directed the center’s International Program from 2004-2014, when he managed a portfolio of projects around the globe. Crawford is a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Malaysia and the Philippines.

URI was the first academic institution worldwide to establish a graduate program in ocean and coastal policy, management, and law in 1969. Initially a one-year program designed specifically for individuals who already had an advanced degree or five years of experience in marine related fields, the Master’s in Marine Affairs program was expanded to include a two-year program in 1977 for those who did not already carry an advanced degree or the requisite experience. In the 1980s an undergraduate program was created, followed by a doctoral program in the late 1990s. The mission of the Department of Marine Affairs has always been to advance research on and provide leadership for the management of complex coastal and marine environments worldwide. Its graduates come from across the United States and more than 40 countries and work in government service, non-governmental organizations, industry, and academia.

For more on the Department of Marine Affairs Lecture Series, visit web.uri.edu/maf.

Lauren Poirier, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations and English major, wrote this press release.