Dawn Kotowicz Biography
Dawn Kotowicz is a social science researcher and coastal management extension specialist with Rhode Island Sea Grant and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center (CRC). Kotowicz joined Sea Grant/CRC in 2015, and is currently working on the portfolio of coastal resilience and sustainable seafood projects. The coastal resilience work involves reviewing and synthesizing the best available science to clearly communicate challenges and opportunities to stakeholders such as municipal decision-makers and coastal property owners and managers to identify policies and projects that may increase resiliency in the face of potential impacts from coastal hazards and storm events. The sustainable seafood work involves understanding current market distribution channels for underutilized species landed in Rhode Island to identify barriers and opportunities for Rhode Island fishermen to access markets in the state and consumers to buy more Rhode Island-landed seafood. Kotowicz has also served on project teams focused on climate change science, marine spatial planning and, as a student at URI, coastal community resiliency in Thailand. All work employs a research and planning process that integrates the best available science with open input and involvement from a broad range of stakeholder, decision makers and the public. Prior to joining Sea Grant/CRC, Kotowicz worked with NOAA Fisheries and the University of Hawai’i as a Social Science researcher on “people” aspects of fisheries issues in the U.S. Pacific Islands. Her work focuses on social resilience in coastal communities and has included social aspects of climate change impacts, marine protected area designation and management, and indicators of resilience in fishing communities. She has master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Rhode Island in Marine Affairs, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Barnard College, Columbia University.