Roger Williams University Researchers to Partner in Statewide Coastal Ecology Research Consortium

NSF awards $19 million grant to establish statewide effort to understand and predict the impact of climate variability on coastal ecosystems

Aerial view of RWU Bristol campu

BRISTOL, R.I. – Roger Williams University faculty members and students will join an ambitious statewide undertaking to research and develop new technologies aimed at understanding and predicting the effects of climate variability on the health of Narragansett Bay.

As part of a $19 million National Science Foundation grant announced Wednesday, RWU will collaborate with researchers from the University of Rhode Island (acting as project lead) and six other universities and colleges across the state to establish the Rhode Island Consortium for Coastal Ecology Assessment, Innovation and Modeling (C-AIM). The statewide research consortium will aim to “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,” according to URI principal researchers.

This new multifaceted effort builds upon previous research collaborations among RWU and the state’s universities through the NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). In addition to RWU and URI, the statewide research consortium includes Brown University, Bryant University, Providence College, Salve Regina University, Rhode Island College and Rhode Island School of Design.

Included in this initiative will be opportunities for many RWU undergraduate researchers to contribute to the research. Through the EPSCoR Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, RWU has funded about 140 undergraduate research fellows to collaborate on scientific research with faculty members and to present their findings at state and national conferences.