Nixon Lecture

Scott W. Nixon Lecture

The CI established the Nixon lecture series upon Scott Nixon’s death to honor his extraordinary contributions to coastal science. Some viewed Scott as a contrarian, but in truth, he was a scientist who was always willing—indeed, he saw it as his responsibility—to consider the alternative. When others were focused on ridding Narragansett Bay of nutrients, he asked how much is too much. He even asked if the continued reduction of nutrients might create an oligotrophic estuary incapable of sustaining life in any abundance. Scott considered the unintended consequences of every action. To honor his legacy, the CI invites speakers to URI who hold less “popular” perspectives or whose work questions the consensus in a given research area.

This highly regarded lecture series generates a broad interest and enthusiasm among coastal researchers across New England as well as among the very engaged coastal communities of RI. In bringing guest speakers to URI, the lecture facilitates these researchers meeting with numerous graduate students and faculty from GSO and College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) as well as researchers from NOAA, EPA-AED, and other institutions throughout the region. By building relationships with this international network of lecturers, this CI lecture series serves to enrich contacts for both Senior Fellows and URI students. In addition to the lecture, the CI supports a range of activities: a luncheon for graduate students, dinners with small groups of researchers, a field day to engage the guest in local research challenges, and individual appointments to provide opportunities to explore collaboration.

CI Support: $8,200 annual average.

2022 - Dr. Robert Griffin, Natural Capital Project & Research Assistant Professor, UMass Dartmouth; Dr. Brita Jessen Interdisciplinary Research and Partnerships Lead, South Carolina Sea Grant; Dr. Erika Lentz
Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Shaping Our Future: Ensuring Sustainable Life in the Coastal Zone

More information about this lecture
2019 - Pál Weihe, Department of Occupational Medicine and Public Health and the University of the Faroe Island.

PFASs Around the Globe: effects on human health of oceanic pollution in the Arctic
2018 - Robinson W. Fulweiler, Boston University.

So Many Estuaries, So Little Time: Narragansett Bay as a model for coastal systems under change
Susan_Garcia-Johnson2017 - Susan Lozier, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, North Carolina.

A 21st Century Look at the Global Conveyor Belt
2016 - Daniel Conley, Lund University, Sweden

Getting Rid of Hypoxia in a Warming World
2015 - Sybil Seitzinger, International Council for Science, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, Sweden

Nitrogen–the good, the bad, and the beautiful
2014 - Ariel Lugo, USDA Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Puerto Rico

The Scott Nixon Effect on the Analysis of Tropical Ecosystems: From Parking Lots to Rainforests
2013 - Carlos Duarte, Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia, Spanish National Research Council at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies, Spain

Auditing the Seven Plagues of Coastal Ecosystems