Tiffany Smythe Biography

Tiffany Smythe, Ph.D.
Extension Specialist

Tiffany Smythe is an extension specialist and research staff with Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Coastal Resources Center (CRC), as well as an adjunct professor in URI’s Department of Marine Affairs. An environmental social scientist and marine policy specialist by training, Smythe’s portfolio includes ocean planning, offshore renewable energy, coastal climate resilience, and marine ecosystem-based management projects. Smythe co-authored and co-facilitated the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP), which led to the siting of the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF). Current projects include conducting social science research on the effects of the BIWF on Rhode Island recreation and tourism, and co-authoring the Rhode Island Shoreline Change SAMP, which will prepare Rhode Island coastal communities for the impacts of sea level rise, storm surge and coastal erosion. These and other projects include applied research, outreach, policy development, and stakeholder facilitation. Smythe began her career in marine education and has worked in the academic, non-profit, and government sectors on topics ranging from oyster aquaculture and restoration to the impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the Port of New York and New Jersey. Smythe has master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Affairs from URI as well as bachelor and master’s degrees from Columbia University. She is also a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed ship captain and a Senior Fellow with both the Environmental Leadership Program and the URI Coastal Institute.