Senior Capstone

Begin Your Career

At Rhode Island Sea Grant, we are dedicated to providing new and exciting opportunities for students to engage in marine and coastal issues. Our aim is increasing knowledge and awareness of coastal and marine ecosystems for the next generation of professionals so that they may be stewards of these valuable resources.

We are committed to providing hands-on experiences for students across disciplines through fellowships, assistantships, and internships to work with communities on real problems.

Fellowships  & Internships

** Applications for 2025 will open in Fall 2024 **

RI Sea Grant Community Engagement & Communications Fellowship





In our pursuit to support and train the next generation of coastal researchers, managers and leaders, Rhode Island Sea Grant (RISG) is excited to offer three graduate fellowship positions through our Community Engagement and Communications Fellowship Program in 2024. The purpose of this program is to provide students with hands-on opportunities to apply their knowledge to address real-world coastal management issues. Each fellowship opportunity will pair fellows with RISG-funded scientists, extension agents and state resources management professionals to develop solutions to the problems facing coastal and marine communities.



This half-time fellowship provides employment for Spring 2024 and Fall 2024 semesters during which the student is expected to work on campus at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus. The fellowship package includes half tuition for the academic year and a 10 hour-per-week stipend. The fellowship is open to URI graduate students with strong written and verbal skills.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled as full-time graduate students between January 1 and December 31, 2024



** Application Deadline Feb. 15, 2024 **

Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship





The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship provides a unique educational experience to graduate students who have an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

The Fellowship, named after one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA Administrator and Dean of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography, John A. Knauss, matches highly qualified graduate students with “hosts” in the legislative and executive branch of government located in the Washington, D.C., area for a one-year paid fellowship.

Rhode Island Sea Grant may forward the nomination of up to six students annually for this prestigious fellowship to the National Sea Grant College Program, which convenes a final selection panel to review all applications submitted nationally. Applicants must be enrolled in a U.S. accredited graduate or professional degree program in a marine or aquatic-related field in the U.S. or its territories.


Any graduate students, regardless of citizenship, in the natural and social sciences as well as law or related fields who are enrolled through an accredited institution towards a degree at any point between the onset of the 2023 Fall Term and February 15, 2024, and have a demonstrated interest in ocean and coastal issues are invited to apply for this paid fellowship.

2025 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Now Accepting Applications


If you are interested in applying or have additional questions, please contact Kim Ohneemus, Education Coordinator, Rhode Island Sea Grant,

For more information on stipend/expenses and how to apply, please visit that National Sea Grant website.

** Application Deadline Feb. 16, 2024 **

Community Engaged Internship





As part of Rhode Island Sea Grant’s goal to broaden participation in marine and coastal professions, the RISG Community Engaged Internship (CEI) aims to equip students from underrepresented and indigenous communities with the training, mentorship, and skills to
build successful careers in the coastal and maritime space. The CEI Program provides undergraduate students from across Rhode Island with the opportunity to engage in place-based research, extension, education and/or communication projects focused within coastal
communities. Students will be placed with mentors that may include RISG extension staff, RISG-funded researchers, or representatives of local community-based organizations. Students will help to advance the research and community outreach goals of RISG partners while gaining  invaluable skills that will prepare them to enter the workforce post-graduation.

As part of the larger Community Engagement Internship Program overseen by NOAA-Sea Grant, students selected for this internship will have access to professional development opportunities and mentoring offered by the National Sea Grant College Program for Sea Grant interns nationwide, including a graduation ceremony following the completion of the program.

RISG has also partnered with URI’s College of Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) to provide interns with additional professional development and cohort-building opportunities allowing CEI interns to connect with other student interns and fellows from across academic disciplines.

Who should apply?

Full time students at any Rhode Island institution of higher education who belong to populations historically excluded from STEM are encouraged to apply for this internship opportunity. Students who demonstrate strong communication skills, an ability to work well with others and an interest in community engagement will be considered for this opportunity. Preference will be given to rising Juniors (third year) or Seniors (fourth year) students. Students will be selected for internship positions based on academic interest and career goals, relevant experience, professional references, and written/oral skills.

How do I apply?

Fill out and submit the common application for undergraduate fellowship opportunities. Summer 2024 Applications are Due February 16.  Any questions can be sent to Kim Ohnemus, Workforce Development Coordinator,


Contact: Kim Ohneemus, Education Coordinator, Rhode Island Sea Grant,

For more information on the national CEI program, please visit that National Sea Grant website.

Coastal Fellowship





Rhode Island Sea Grant sponsors undergraduate Coastal Fellows through the Coastal Fellows Program of URI’s College of Environment and Life Sciences that is aimed at addressing emerging environmental problems from a range of disciplines and technologies.

The Coastal Fellowship Program provides training in both the classroom and applied venues to maximize educational opportunities. Coastal Fellows work within vertically integrated research or outreach teams that are problem-driven by nature.

Teams involve some mix of faculty, research or outreach staff, Land and Sea Grant educators, post-doctorate fellows, community professionals, and graduate students. These multigenerational teams provide students with a range of learning experiences and project-related support. Students take responsibility for a small piece of the project’s overall research or outreach design and follow the work through to completion.

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Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellowship




Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellow Program: Rhode Island Sea Grant sponsors law students as Sea Grant Law Fellows to research and write on ocean and coastal law issues including the resolution of marine resource management and conservation issues.

Established in October 2003, the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program located at the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law is one of only four Sea Grant legal programs in the nation.

The Legal Program responds to research requests from state and regional agencies and other Sea Grant constituents on coastal zone management, fisheries, public access, aquaculture, ports and harbors, and other areas of marine law.  The Legal Program is prohibited from providing legal advice or becoming involved in litigation.

The information provided by the program’s students and attorneys is intended for informational purposes only.

For more information, please contact Read Porter, Staff Attorney, Marine Affairs Institute, at or by telephone at 401-254-5734.

** Application Deadline Jan. 26, 2024 **

NOAA Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellowship





This program’s mission is to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resources management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management agencies and other key NOAA partners.

These two-year fellowships are offered by the NOAA Coastal Management Program.


For more information, see

National Marine Fisheries Service-Sea Grant Fisheries Graduate Fellowship




The NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics and Marine Resource Economics is designed to help Sea Grant fulfill its broad educational responsibilities and to strengthen the collaboration between Sea Grant and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Since 1999, Sea Grant and NMFS have partnered to train students through this joint fellowship program in two specialized areas: population and ecosystem dynamics as well as marine resource economics. Population and ecosystem dynamics involve the study of fish populations and marine ecosystems to better assess fishery stock conditions and dynamics.

The goals of the NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program are:

  • To encourage qualified applicants to pursue careers in either population and ecosystem dynamics and stock assessment or in marine resource economics
  • To increase available expertise related to these fields
  • To foster closer relationships between academic scientists and NOAA Fisheries
  • To provide real-world experience to graduate students and accelerate their career development.

To help achieve the goals of the fellowship, each Fellow will be required to work closely with an expert (mentor) from NOAA Fisheries who will serve on the Fellow’s committee. The mentor may also provide access to research data sources and to working/laboratory space in a NOAA Fisheries research facility and/or research vessel, if appropriate.


The Fisheries Fellowship is available to US citizens who are graduate students enrolled in PhD degree programs in academic institutions in the United States and its territories. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply. Foreign Nationals are not eligible.

Length of Fellowship

Ph.D. candidates interested in the population and ecosystem dynamics of living marine resources and the development and implementation of quantitative methods for assessing their status can receive up to three years of funding. Ph.D. students in marine resource economics, concentrating on the conservation and management of living marine resources, can receive two years of funding.

How to Apply

Opportunities are posted late in the calendar year. Applications are typically due in January.

The 2022 Fellowship Opportunity has been announced. Please see for the full announcement.

For more information, please contact your local Sea Grant Program or


For more information or application questions please contact Kim Ohnemus |  

Photo ©Jesse Burke

Senior Capstone

Rhode Island Sea Grant Community-Planning Specialists work to make Sea Grant’s signature senior capstone project meaningful for both the students and community.

Students from an array of disciplines work together to solve real-world problems in local communities through design, policy, and economics.

This project combines student skill sets in landscape architecture, marine affairs, ocean engineering, and natural resources economics in a one-of-a-kind collaborative project that engages students across sectors but also with community professionals to learn about issues related to sea level rise, flooding, and other coastal hazards.






For more information, please contact Alan Desbonnet at