coastal institute

Narragansett Bay Campus, Room 124, Narragansett, RI 02882


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Community Outreach and Engagement

A BioBlitz PBS Documentary is being developed, funded, and produced by the Coastal Institute focused on the 2013 annual BioBlitz hosted by the RI Natural History Survey in the area surrounding Narrow River in Narragansett, RI. This film will promote ecological monitoring through outreach as it captures the contribution that professional and citizen scientists make to help the public understand complex ecosystems.

Volunteers conduct biological surveys during the Rhode Island History Survey’s BioBlitz. Photo credit: Russ Waldron


The RI Climate Change Collaboration is an interdisciplinary project that draws on communication and behavioral sciences, as well as climate change research. The Collaborative, of which the Coastal Institute serves as a co-leader and integral team member, developed and applied a behavior change model from the public health arena to coastal communities coping with environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change.

The Collaborative also created the Waves of Change website to make complex, climate science concepts accessible to the general public through the use of understandable language, short videos, cartoons, photographs, and clear explanations to convey the major threats posed by climate change and what residents can do to prepare.

Partners include the Coastal Resources Center, the Harrington School of Communication and Media, the Cancer Prevention Research Center, the Graduate School of Oceanography, and the College of the Environment and Life Sciences with a grant from RI Sea Grant.


41° North is Rhode Island’s ocean and coastal magazine, and is published biannually by RI Sea Grant and the Coastal Institute. This biannual magazine examines climate change, marine commerce and recreation, ecology and habitats, ocean planning, and the history of Rhode Island’s coastal and marine landscape. In recent years, 41°North has transitioned from a purely scientific endeavor with a limited readership to a transdisciplinary publication with a broad audience. The most recent edition focuses on erosion in the face of climate change.

CI Projects_Coastal cabaret_Mailia_Schwartz

Casey Seymour Kim and Charles Cofone perform It’s a Shore Thing: A Coastal Cabaret at a RI Sea Grant event. Photo credit: Mailia Schwartz, RI Sea Grant

It’s a Shore Thing: A Coastal Cabaret is a compilation of original cabaret-style songs focused on environmental change in coastal zones. It was created and directed Judith Swift, a Professor of Theatre, and Charles Cofone, a professional sound and musical director, with the support of the URI Foundation. The cabaret has been performed at over 40 national and regional conferences.



* The Katrina Project is a play written, edited, and directed by Judith Swift based on over 90 interviews completed in situ within and around New Orleans, LA and the Mississippi Delta from 12 months to 2 years following Hurricane Katrina. The play captures themes of response and recovery of people and communities following a major disaster. The Katrina Project has been performed at professional, community, and academic theaters and scientific meetings in RI, CT, NY, and NOLA.

This script is available to be produced with no royalty cost and proper credit given; however, 10% of any profits made from a production should be returned to the URI Foundation Coastal Institute account. For more information, please contact Support for the production was also provided by the Broadmoor Improvement Association and a private donor.


Coastal Institute YouTube contains over 20 coastal science videos featuring faculty research have been funded and produced by the Coastal Institute to promote understanding of excellence in science for public awareness and media resources.


Artwork is displayed at the Graduate School of Oceanography Coastal Institute in Studio Blue. Photo credit: URI Office of Marine Programs

Studio Blue is a multimedia coastal and ocean learning commons, where artists and scientists share ideas. Studio Blue is located at the Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography where the work of artists is on display. Studio Blue is supported by the Graduate School of Oceanography and Office of Marine Programs, the Coastal Institute, and the Rhode Island NSF EPSCoR Program.


* The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association: Adapting the Watershed Lecture Series addressed how communities, organizations, and residents in the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed can adapt to the changes that may be experienced as a result of climate change. The Coastal Institute supported these proactive and informative talks that promoted a watershed approach to prepare for and adapt to climate challenges that lie before us.


* Buy the Bay is a theatrical performance culled from primary and secondary sources to give a sense of the social and environmental history of the resort communities of Newport, Narragansett, and Jamestown from the 1850s to the 1930s. Buy the Bay was written by Judith Swift and Maury Klein, and directed by Judith Swift, with music direction by Charles Cofone. Buy the Bay was made possible through the support of the RI Committee for the Humanities and is included in the “What a Difference a Bay Makes” archives.

This script is available to be produced with no royalty cost and proper credit given; however, 10% of any profits made from a production should be returned to the URI Foundation Coastal Institute account. For more information, please contact

* completed project

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