Our Team

 

Program Management

Tracey Dalton Ph.D.

Director

E-mail: dalton@uri.edu

bio

Tracey Dalton was appointed Rhode Island Sea Grant Director in 2021. She has been a professor of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island since 2002. From 2016-2021, she led the Marine Affairs program as department chair.

Dalton’s research covers a variety of topics, all involving human interactions with marine and coastal environments embedded within a dynamic system. She has conducted studies on how people think about and use coastal and ocean spaces; the social, cultural, and economic impacts of using ocean and coastal space in different ways; and participatory processes for planning and managing human interactions with these spaces. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Rhode Island Sea Grant, NOAA, and a range of other funding agencies, and her findings have been published in journals and periodicals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Marine Policy, Environmental Management, Conservation Biology, Marine Pollution Bulletin, and other peer-reviewed journals.

Alan Desbonnet

Assistant Director

Tel: (401) 874-6813 | E-mail: aland@uri.edu

bio

Alan Desbonnet has been the Assistant Director at Rhode Island Sea Grant in 2007 but has been with the program since 1989 working on a variety of coastal and water resource projects.

Desbonnet completed undergraduate work at Eastern Connecticut State University, and the master of oceanography program at the University of Connecticut.

Previously, Desbonnet worked at the Mystic Aquarium as an aquarist, researcher, and educator. He authored a monthly “science for the fisherman” column for “On the Water” magazine for over a decade and taught ecology as an adjunct at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Outside work Desbonnet is an avid skiier, fly tier and fly fisherman of both fresh and salt waters, an amateur photographer, avid birder, gardener, and gourmet cook.

Kimberly Ohnemus

Workforce Development & Research Coordinator

 Email: kohnemus@uri.edu

Communications

Monica Allard-Cox

Communications Director

Tel: (401) 874-6937 | E-mail: allard@uri.edu

bio

Monica Allard Cox is the editor of the twice-yearly magazine 41°N that is produced by Rhode Island Sea Grant in partnership with the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island. In addition to her work on the magazine, Allard Cox also supports program communications through layout and design, photography, social media, event planning, writing, and public relations.

She edited and designed the 2015 book, Rhode Island’s Shellfish Heritage: An Ecological History. Allard Cox previously taught composition at the Community College of Rhode Island.

She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Rhode Island and Brown University respectively.

Meredith Haas

Digital Media Manager and Science Writer 

Tel: (401) 8746019| Email: mmhaas@uri.edu

bio

Meredith Haas specializes in feature and science writing, as well as digital content development.

For over a decade, she has extensively covered science and environmental issues, interviewing fishermen, policymakers, resource managers, artists, explorers, historians, and scientists to connect the human element to these stories, both at local and national scales.

Haas served as the Sea Grant Communicators Network chair, representing 34 programs nationwide, between 2017-2020.

Prior to Sea Grant, she was the writer/editor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and a field biologist with Wyoming Game and Fish.

She has degrees in biology and journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

Coastal Program

Jennifer McCann

Coastal Program Director

Tel: (401) 874-6127 | E-mail: jmccann@uri.edu

bio

Jennifer McCann is the director of U.S. Coastal Programs at the Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant. McCann leads research and provides technical support on blue economy-related topics to government decision makers,
the private sector, and the public both locally and abroad. At the request of diverse coastal stakeholders, in 2019/2020 McCann led a process to define Rhode Island’s blue, or ocean, economy and identify strategies and recommendations to ensure this sector continues to thrive.

McCann is winner of the Rhode Island Saltwater Angler’s Annual Environmental Award (2020) and a Peter Benchley Ocean Award (2017), and is a 2017 Graduate of Leadership Rhode Island.

McCann also served as URI’s lead for developing and facilitating the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP), which led to the siting of the first offshore wind farm in the United States. McCann has also played a leadership role in the development and implementation of plans for the siting of land-based renewable energy and a comprehensive management and marketing approach for Rhode Island’s shellfish resources and blue economy.
McCann has led national efforts to develop indicators, monitoring protocols, and modeling tools for improved social and environmental management of offshore renewable energy.

Pam Rubinoff

Climate Adaptation Specialist

Tel: (401) 874-6135 | E-mail: rubinoff@uri.edu 

bio

Pam Rubinoff is a climate adaptation specialist for Rhode Island Sea Grant where she has contributed to the development of National Coastal Smart Growth principles, helped lead the development of Rhode Island’s state sea level rise policy, identified hazard mitigation initiatives for the state’s urban core, and initiated the Smart Hurricane Recovery initiative for southern Rhode Island.

Her leadership has contributed to efforts including Rhode Island’s FORTIFIED Home program, USAID’s Coastal Adaptation Framework, and URI’s partnership with the National Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Rubinoff has a master’s degree in marine policy from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s of civil engineering from the University of Delaware. She has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Peace Corps in Thailand and was the Regional Coordinator on Cape Cod for the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Program.

Azure Dee Cygler

Fisheries & Aquaculture Specialist

Tel: (401) 874-6197 | E-mail: acygler@uri.edu 

bio

Azure Dee Cygler joined the Coastal Resources Center & Rhode Island Sea Gran in 2012 as their Fisheries & Aquaculture Extension Specialist. Azure has a master’s in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island, where her graduate work focused on measuring the well-being of commercial fishermen in three New England ports and how management measures have impacted their decision-making and conservation ethics. Prior to her graduate work, she was with the School for Marine Science and Technology in Massachusetts, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass., and has fished commercially in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Narragansett and is involved in the coastal community.

Sue Kennedy

Coastal Program Communications

Tel: (401) 874-6107 | E-mail: sbkennedy@uri.edu

bio

Sue Kennedy has served Rhode Island Sea Grant as a Coastal Program Coordinator, providing public outreach and media relations for the coastal program.

Prior to Sea Grant, she worked for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, and also served in both reporter and editor capacities at several community newspapers in Rhode Island.

Kennedy has an M.A. and a B.A. in English.

April Pariseault

Coastal Program Fiscal Specialist

Tel: (401) 874-6027 | E-mail: apariseault@uri.edu

Claire Hodson

 Offshore Wind Energy Extension Specialist

E-mail: claire_hodson@uri.edu

bio

As a Rhode Island Sea Grant Extension Specialist with CRC’s domestic team, Claire works primarily on Blue Economy projects, specifically on issues of stakeholder engagement and stakeholder needs as they relate to Offshore Renewable Energy. Prior to her role at CRC, Claire worked in a diverse professional sphere as a Communications Manager for a local non-profit, an aquaculturist, a commercial and charter fisherwoman, stormwater innovations and as an artist. Her working knowledge of marine environmental issues in New England and her keen interest in holistic and creative management give her a unique lens when looking at local and national blue economy projects.

Claire holds a Masters in Environmental Science and Management from the University of Rhode Island and a Bachelors in Sociology from Boston College.

Abbey Greene

 Coastal Program Extension Specialist

E-mail: abbey_greene@uri.edu 

bio

Abbey Greene recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island, where she is studying in the Master’s of Environmental Science and Management program in the environmental policy track. In 2021, she was the Rhode Island Sea Grant Fellow based at the Coastal Resources Center. 

As a Coastal Extension Specialist with CRC’s domestic team, Abbey supports offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, coastal management–working specifically on communication initiatives and project implementation.

Seafood Safety

Nicole Richard

Seafood Safety Specialist

Tel: (401) 874-2977 | E-mail: nicolerichard@uri.edu

bio

Nicole Richard is Rhode Island Sea Grant’s seafood safety specialist. Her work includes food safety-related research and outreach programming. She has been involved in numerous food-safety related needs assessment projects which resulted in the development of resources and programming for target audiences (e.g. home gardeners, educators, consumers, and seafood and produce industries).

Her lab-based research has primarily focused on the evaluation of biochemical and microbiological quality and safety parameters of seafood. She coordinates food safety outreach activities targeting retail foodservice, home food preservation, entrepreneurial food businesses, and FSMA Preventive Controls for Human Food.  She also coordinates planning of the Rhode Island Food Safety Task Force’s annual conferences.

Legal Program

Julia Wyman

Legal Program Director

Tel: (401) 254-4613 | E-mail: jwyman@rwu.edu

bio

Julia Wyman is the director of the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program and the director of the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University (RWU) School of Law.

She has extensive state and national ocean and coastal law and policy experience and most recently served as Ocean and Environmental Counsel for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Prior to that, she served as the staff attorney at the Marine Affairs Institute, and the policy analyst for the Coastal States Organization in Washington, D.C., an organization that represents the interests of the governors of the thirty-five coastal states, commonwealths, and territories.

Much of Wyman’s work has focused on coastal adaptation to climate change. She serves as an adjunct faculty member at RWU School of Law, where she teaches courses related to ocean and coastal law and policy.

She is the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Marine Resources Section.

Wyman received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law and her B.A. from Trinity College. She is also an alumna of the Williams-Mystic maritime studies program.

Emily Migliaccio

Staff Attorney

Tel: (401) 254-5734 | E-mail: emigliaccio@rwu.edu

bio

Emily Migliaccio is a Staff Attorney with the Marine Affairs Institute and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program. Prior to joining the Institute and Program, Ms. Migliaccio practiced primarily environmental, health and safety, and land use law with the women-owned law firm Cervenka Green & Ducharme LLC. Prior to that she was a litigation associate with Partridge, Snow & Hahn LLP. During her time in private practice, Ms. Migliaccio served on the Board of eco RI, Inc. and was an Administrative Fine Hearing Officer for the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council. 

Ms. Migliaccio focused her undergraduate and graduate studies in environmental law and policy. She Migliaccio studied environmental geosciences and environmental studies at Boston College and sailed for its Varsity Sailing Team. She earned her Juris Doctor degree at Vermont Law School where she was the Senior Notes Editor for the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law.

Lauren Beagen

Research Attorney

E-mail: lbeagen@rwu.edu

Jane Govednik

Administrative Assistant

E-mail: jgovednik@rwu.edu

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