Center For Economic and Environmental Development
As part of RWU’s emphasis on Blue Economy at a local, regional, national, and global level, the Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED) focuses on collaborative marine research, industry support, marine education, public outreach, engagement, and extension.
CEED addresses critical challenges facing human health and the coastal environment through education, research, outreach, and training. Currently, CEED personnel conduct basic research and develop applied solutions for achieving economic growth and improvement of human health and social equity, while preserving the health of coastal and ocean ecosystems. CEED will continue to leverage our coastal location and collaborations with other higher education, research, and policy institutions to focus on critical, timely issues facing coastal and marine ecosystems.
Extension plays a central role in CEED’s mission. In our research and student training, we extend the university’s educational resources by working with members of the coastal community to identify important marine resource issues, conduct applied scientific research in these areas, and share findings with stakeholders in the community. These stakeholders include federal and state agencies, nonprofits, local businesses and many other members of the community. CEED makes it possible for RWU students to take part in extension efforts through research experiences and receive essential training and skill sets for community engagement.
The work of CEED currently focuses on four main program areas:
|This research program trains students in shellfish hatchery and farm aquaculturing methods and techniques. CEED staff in this program provide support to externally funded faculty conducting basic and applied research on raising commercially important shellfish species. Our hatchery produces seed for a variety of projects and serves as an educational resource to the commercial shellfishing community.
Aquarium Science and Aquaculture
|This program trains students in raising and caring for aquatic animals. Research and internship opportunities are integrated with hands-on instruction in the design, manufacture, and maintenance of systems. Our CEED students, staff, and faculty design and maintain systems for production of tropical and temperate shrimp, finfish, shellfish, and corals, in addition to large-scale aquarium exhibits.
Aquatic Diagnostics Laboratory
|With a focus on diseases of aquatic animals (finfish and shellfish), the laboratory provides diagnostic services to the aquaculture industry in the region. Students receive training in aquatic animal health diagnostic and care methods by using a combination of pathological and molecular approaches.
Temperate Coral Propagation and Microbial Ecology
|This program is focused on the local temperate coral Astrangia poculata, an emerging model organism for studying coral-microbe symbiosis and ecology. The group applies approaches from microbiology, molecular biology, and advanced microscopy to learn more about the response of corals and their microbiomes to climate change. Additionally, CEED students, staff, and faculty have developed techniques and systems in the RWU Wet Lab for sexual and asexual propagation of A. poculata, to support research efforts of the lab, and of the larger temperate coral research community.