URI Gets $19 Million to Establish Coastal Ecology Research Consortium

The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Rhode Island a $19 million grant to establish a statewide research consortium to study the effects of climate variability on coastal ecosystems.

The funding builds on more than $30 million of previous NSF funding through its Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which aims to strengthen the state’s research competitiveness and fund workforce development initiatives.

The state of Rhode Island, through Commerce Rhode Island, has committed an additional $3.8 million toward the initiative over the next five years, which will be used to provide collaborative grants and support workforce development.

This landmark grant will enable researchers from throughout the state to address some of the most pressing issues of our time while also providing economic development benefits to our innovation economy,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “At the same time, it will further position the Ocean State as a leader in the study of climate change and coastal ecosystems.”

The grant will establish the Rhode Island Consortium for Coastal Ecology, Assessment, Innovation and Modeling, which will assess the impacts of climate variability on coastal ecosystems, create innovative technologies for detecting those changes, and build computer models to predict and plan for changes in coastal ecology.

URI is the project lead on the grant and will work in collaboration with a statewide network made up of researchers at Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island College, Bryant University, Providence College, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University.