Water warrior, Wallace J. Nichols to discuss “An Ocean State of Mind: In Crisis, Opportunity” on Dec. 7 as a part of URI’s Honors Colloquium

KINGSTON, R.I. — Dec. 6, 2021 — Wallace J. Nichols has visionary ideas related to ocean and aquatic ecosystems, migratory species, marine protected areas, fisheries management and plastic pollution. These ideas inspire others to find a deeper connection with nature and embrace inventive approaches to issues ranging from protection of ocean life to global water supply to the mental health benefits of a life spent on or near the water.

Nichols will discuss “An Ocean State of Mind: In Crisis, Opportunity” Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., at Edwards Hall on the Kingston Campus. It is the last presentation of the fall Honors Colloquium, “Sustaining our Shores.” 

Those who wish to attend in person must register in advance.  The program is also going to be streamed live.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis:  ALL attendees will be REQUIRED to show either a vaccination card OR a university ID.  Also, everyone attending will be required to be masked while inside the building.  Virtual viewing is open to all.

Formerly a senior scientist at Ocean Conservancy, Nichols holds a master’s degree in natural resource economics and policy from Duke University and a Ph.D.  in wildlife ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. He received a Bradley Fellowship to study impacts of sea level rise at Duke University Marine Lab, a Marshall Fellowship to study at the University of Arizona, and a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico marine station in Mazatlan. In 2011, he was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club. In 2014, he received the University of Arizona’s Global Achievement Award. 

He has authored more than 200 publications, lectured in more than 30 countries and nearly all 50 states. He’s also appeared in hundreds of media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, USA Today, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist. His book Blue Mind, published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company, quickly became a national bestseller. It has been translated to numerous languages and inspired a wave of media attention.

Lauren Poirier ‘21, former URI Marketing and Communications intern, wrote an essay about Nichols’ Blue Mind in the summer 2009 issue of the University of Rhode Island Magazine, in which she says, “Psychologists, biologists, neurologists, researchers, surfers, fishers, swimmers, and beachgoers alike agree that there is just something restorative and peaceful about spending time in or near water.”

Nichols lives with his partner Dana, two daughters, and assorted animals on California’s Slow Coast where they are slowly restoring the land after the summer 2020 wildfires took their beloved home.

Gianna Cardarelli, a University of Rhode Island Public Relations major and intern in its Department of Marketing and Communications, wrote this press release.