Rhode Island Sea Grant-sponsored events are listed on the URI calendar of events. Click here to see Rhode Island Sea Grant events.

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March 26: Coastal State Discussion Series: Emerging marine diseases in Narragansett Bay

Kingston, RI -- Join us for a discussion of the impacts of new marine diseases in Narragansett Bay that may be harmful to our health and our seafood. This event will be held on Wednewsday, March 26, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the University Club on the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus. Refreshments will be served.

Harmful Algae Discovered in Narragansett Bay
Dr. David Borkman, researcher at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, will discuss an emerging algal species found in Narragansett Bay that poses potential risks to human health, marine life, and the state’s shellfish industry.

Disease Threatens Eastern Oysters in R.I.
A new parasite in R.I. waters may increase disease in the eastern oyster. Dr. Roxanna Smolowitz, visiting assistant professor of biology and director of the Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory at Roger Williams University, will discuss the impacts of this parasite and
theories of transmission.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so please contact Meredith Haas at to reserve a place or for more information. The University Club is located on Upper College Road on URI’s Kingston Campus.

The Coastal State series is sponsored by Rhode Island Sea Grant, the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and the URI Coastal Institute. This lecture is also supported by the R.I. Shellfish Management Plan.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is located at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

April 4: Rhode Island Seafood Challenge: Chowder Cookoff

The 2014 Rhode Island Seafood Challenge puts Johnson & Wales University culinary students to the test making Rhode Island-style clam chowder

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Join us for the 2014 Rhode Island Seafood Challenge—a chowder cookoff at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) on Friday, April 4, from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. [Reservations requited; see below.]

Three teams of JWU culinary students will prepare their own original recipes for Rhode Island-style clam chowder for a guest audience of other JWU students and the public. The audience will get to taste each of the chowders and vote for their favorite. The winning team will be featured on NBC 10’s Cooking with Class with Chef Frank Terranova.

In addition to the recipe challenge, experts will present talks on Rhode Island’s seafood industry and food safety. Speakers will include Ken Ayars, chief of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture, Chris Lee, director at Sea Fresh, a seafood processor and wholesaler in North Kingstown, R.I., and Lori Pivarnik, coordinator of the University of Rhode Island’s Food Safety Outreach/Research Program in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences.

“Incorporating fresh, local ingredients is a focus of the Wellness and Sustainability concentration that many of our students are studying. This competition is a way to share that with the public while challenging our students to experiment with this great locally available seafood,” said William Idell, department chair in the JWU College of Culinary Arts.

Fresh clams will be donated by Atlantic Capes Fisheries in Bristol, R.I.

This event will be held at the JWU Harborside Campus Amphitheater. Seating is limited. This event is free, but advance reservations are required by contacting Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6800 or

The 2014 Rhode Island Seafood Challenge is sponsored by Johnson & Wales University, the University of Rhode Island Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Rhode Island Sea Grant, located at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

Rhode Island Sea Grant awards two-year grants for shellfish research

NARRAGANSETT—Shellfish play an important role in Rhode Island’s economy, and Rhode Island Sea Grant is funding, over the next two years, research projects designed to enhance these resources for the state.



Rhode Island Sea Grant Extension Director Awarded for International Outreach Efforts in Marine Planning

Jennifer McCannNARRAGANSETT—Rhode Island Sea Grant is pleased to announce that Extension Director Jennifer McCann was recognized by the Northeast Regional Sea Grant Consortium for her work in training practitioners locally, throughout the U.S., and around the world in marine spatial planning.

McCann received the region's individual award for "Outstanding Outreach Achievement" at the consortium's meeting on November 18 in New Bedford, Mass.

Rick DeVoe, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium director, nominated McCann for the award. He cited her work in not only helping to create the R.I. Ocean Special Area Management Plan, but also bringing lessons learned from that project to practitioners in the U.S. and around the world at the 2012 Baird Symposium on International Marine Spatial Planning. That symposium was a first step toward developing an international community of marine spatial planners, which McCann has supported through a series of communications efforts, including a blog, a video series, and a practitioners guide.

"What is so valuable about McCann's program is that it not only addresses the needs of practitioners today, but it is actively working to build tomorrow's ocean leaders," DeVoe wrote.

An extensive survey after the symposium showed that McCann's efforts are paying off. All respondents reported being more inspired and/or empowered to advance their MSP effort after attending the symposium, and a third reported concrete gains, such as engaging stakeholders with more confidence and success, and making a greater effort to gain political support for their projects. Over half of respondents have focused more attention on identifying and defining key drivers and issues.

DeVoe wrote that he sought out McCann in order to strategize MSP opportunities for the South Carolina Sea Grant program and the South Atlantic Alliance. McCann has also provided tailored MSP technical assistance to the Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, and New York Sea Grant programs.

More information is available at:

Group award recognizes regional assistance to lobstermen
Rhode Island Sea Grant was also a member of the regional group award for outreach achievement. The winning project, led by Dana Morse, marine extension associate for Maine Sea Grant, provided technical assistance to lobstermen to increase their profitability and diversify their businesses through a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is part of the National Sea Grant College Program and is located at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is seeking a URI student intern for communications

Rhode Island Sea Grant is one of 32 programs that make up the National Sea Grant College Program, a part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. To learn more about Rhode Island Sea Grant, please visit

This internship offers students the opportunity to develop their writing portfolios by providing in-depth stories to be published in our biannual magazine, 41°N, as well as other media outlets. (See

Hours: Approximately 10 hours/week; hourly rate is $7.75 to $8.45/hour (based on experience)


  • Conduct interviews, perform independent research, and attend events as a basis for writing articles
  • Edit articles and website text
  • Post frequent updates to our Facebook and Twitter sites
  • Perform other related duties as required


  • Strong written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to learn and adapt quickly
  • Ability to establish priorities, work independently, and proceed with objectives with minimal supervision
  • Ability to multitask
  • Experience with Microsoft Office

Other requirements:

  • Must have access to transportation

Location: This position will be located at Rhode Island Sea Grant, University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett Bay Campus. 

Contact Info: Please contact Monica Allard Cox at or (401) 874-6937 for more details.

To Apply: Send resume, cover letter, and one writing sample to Monica Allard Cox at

Dennis Nixon appointed Sea Grant Director

Bruce Corliss has announced the appointment of Professor Dennis Nixon as Director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program following an internal search within URI this spring. Dennis is a Professor of Marine Affairs in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and has served as Associate Dean for Research and Administration at GSO since 2009. Prior to that, he served for 8 years as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. He has been a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island for the past 37 years, teaching courses in the area of marine and coastal law. He is the author of over 50 articles and the casebook Marine and Coastal Law, first published in 1994 and released in a second edition in 2010. He was the co-founder of the very successful joint-degree program in Marine Affairs and Law with the Roger Williams University Law School. He is also the legal advisor and risk manager for the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, funded by the National Science Foundation, providing advice to all of the U.S. academic research vessel fleet for the past 26 years. He has had a long association with Rhode Island Sea Grant, beginning in 1975 as a graduate student, and was later funded to carry out work in fishing vessel safety and insurance that culminated in the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988. In addition, he was instrumental in establishing the Rhode Island Sea Grant Marine Law Program and has served as a member of the Rhode Island Sea Grant Senior Advisory Council for over a decade. He has an intimate knowledge of Rhode Island's coast and surrounding waters, and is uniquely qualified to bring together the academic and public communities to help solve emerging coastal problems in Rhode Island.

41°N seeks freelance writers

41°N, the magazine of Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island, is seeking freelance writers interested in contributing feature articles, briefs, book reviews, and more to "Rhode Island's Ocean and Coastal Magazine." Contributor guidelines are available here. For specific inquiries, please contact Monica Allard Cox, managing editor, at or (401) 874-6937.

Rhode Island Sea Grant e-Newsletter

Rhode Island Sea Grant's e-newsletter offers monthly updates on our projects, staff, and announcements of funding opportunities, upcoming events, and new publications. To read the e-newsletter on-line, click here. To subscribe, e-mail We will not share your e-mail address.

41°N Magazine

41°N is a magazine that is produced twice a year in partnership between Rhode Island Sea Grant and the URI Coastal Institute. This publication serves not only to keep readers informed of the programs' activities and research findings but to bring them science-based perspectives on critical issues such as climate change. The name 41°N is taken from the degree of latitude at which Rhode Island is located, but it also represents the concept that many of these issues are of concern around the world. To read 41°N online, visit To receive 41°N by mail, contact Rhode Island Sea Grant at (401) 874-6800 or