Science Serving Coastal Communities

Rhode Island Sea Grant is pleased to announce the appointment of University of Rhode Island Professor Tracey Dalton, Ph.D., as the next director of Rhode Island Sea Grant beginning August 1.

Dr. Dalton has been a professor of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island since 2002. For the past five years, she has led the Marine Affairs program as department chair. Her 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. 
“It is such a privilege to take on this role as Rhode Island Sea Grant director. I’m looking forward to working with the Rhode Island Sea Grant staff and engaging with scientists, community members, local users, and the rest of the Sea Grant community to address important coastal and ocean issues in Rhode Island,” Dalton says.

She will also serve on the leadership team of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and will continue to teach in the Department of Marine Affairs, maintaining her research program and advising students through the College of Environment and Life Sciences.

“Tracey Dalton’s experience as a Rhode Island Sea Grant-funded researcher, social scientist, and longtime faculty member and leader of the Marine Affairs Department mean that she will bring valuable expertise to the role of director as we not only grow our research and outreach programs but also seek to engage more with diverse communities,” says Alan Desbonnet, Rhode Island Sea Grant interim director. “We’re in the midst of our biennial research competition, so this is an exciting and busy time for our program and we’re happy Tracey will be on board soon.”

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