Jennifer Critcher Joins CRC as Assistant Director

jennifercritcherJennifer Critcher, an executive leader who specializes in both nonprofit and higher education administration, has been named assistant director at CRC. Critcher comes to CRC from URI’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics, where she managed a $6.5 million budget and oversaw human resources functions and business strategy.

Prior to joining URI, Critcher was CFO of The Retreat, a $4.5-million nonprofit comprehensive domestic violence services organization located in Long Island, New York. She co-lead this agency in a manner that prioritized financial stewardship while emphasizing operational, programmatic and strategic planning for the organization.

She committed her tenure at The Retreat to engaging the community and its leaders while thinking creatively and coordinating the support of a diverse team, field staff and consultants. This effort generated significant, multi-year grants from federal agencies for innovative programming. These programs included permanent  housing, transitional housing and engaging men in the effort to end domestic violence.

Critcher serves as a board and finance committee member for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and volunteers and is a board member for Clinica Esperanza, a free medical clinic in Providence. She and her family are relocating to Richmond, R.I., where she plans to be active locally.

URI Students Work on Green Infrastructure Project

Read more about CRC’s efforts to help local communities such as Warwick, RI., make science-informed choices about how best to use green infrastructure — vegetation and other natural elements — to stem flooding and erosion. URI landscape architecture students also gained experience in green infrastructure work through through this project. Read more about the Oakland Beach seawall work.

Beach SAMP Pilot Study to Use Coastal Risk Index Tool

At the recent Beach SAMP stakeholders meeting Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council introduced a pilot study that will use the GIS-based Coastal Environmental Risk Index (CERI) tool to determine risks to buildings and infrastructure from climate change and sea level rise impacts. The cities of Warwick and Charlestown were chosen as pilot sites as part of this Beach SAMP activity. Read more in this Westerly Sun article.

CRC’s McCann to Take Part in Ocean Planning Live Chat

Jen 2014Jennifer McCann, director of the U.S. Coastal Program at CRC and extension director for Rhode Island Sea Grant, will take part in a live chat about ocean planning on Tuesday, March 8 at 1 p.m.

The chat focuses on a new series of video interviews, “Insights from Leaders: Practical Solutions on Ocean Planning,” that were captured at URI GSO last October at the 2015 International Marine Spatial Planning Symposium: Sharing Practical Solutions/14th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, which was sponsored by CRC and Sea Grant.

Greenfire Productions produced the film project. To join the chat, email OpenChannels Project Manager, Nick Wehner.

Ghana University Leaders Visit URI

Ghana scholars and URI faculty and staff meet in President David M. Dooley’s office, from left to right in back, Nancy Stricklin, assistant to the provost for Global Strategies and Academic Partnerships; Anton Post, director of the Coastal Resources Center; President Dooley; Domwini Dabire Kuupole; Elin Torell, international program director for the Coastal Resources Center; and Don Robadue, project manager at the Coastal Resources Center. Seated in front, left to right, Johnson Boampong; Ernest Okorley; and Rosemond Boohene; Denis Worlanyo Aheto.(credit: Nora Lewis, URI)
Ghana scholars and URI faculty and staff meet in President David M. Dooley’s office, from left, rear, Nancy Stricklin, assistant to the provost for Global Strategies and Academic Partnerships; Anton Post, CRC director; President Dooley; Domwini Dabire Kuupole of Ghana’s University of Cape Coast (UCC); Elin Torell, international program director, CRC; Don Robadue, project manager, CRC. Seated in front, from left, UCC educators Johnson Boampong; Ernest Okorley; and Rosemond Boohene; Denis Worlanyo Aheto. (credit: Nora Lewis, URI)

Scholars from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana won the hearts—and hats—of URI professors during a visit this week to strengthen an academic collaboration between the two institutions. The five-day visit was part of a $24 million sustainable fisheries project led by CRC. Read more.

Raising Awareness about Coastal Resiliency, Sea Level Rise in Newport

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Anne Street Pier. (CRC photo)

CRC has worked with Newport stakeholders on sea level rise and waterfront resilience for the past five years, and this work has provided a foundation for the City, and the state, to build on. It also has captured the attention of state lawmakers and others interested in the sustainablility of Rhode Island’s coastline. Check out recent developments in the Narragansett Bay Blog and at The Providence Journal.

Ghana University Officials to Visit URI As Part of $24 Million Sustainable Fisheries Project

Fishing canoes crowd a landing site in Dixcove in the western region of Ghana. (Credit: Ellen Harasimowicz)
Fishing canoes crowd a landing site in Dixcove in the western region of Ghana. (Credit: Ellen Harasimowicz)

A delegation from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana will visit the University of Rhode Island next week as part of a $24 million sustainable fisheries project led by the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

The Ghana delegation will meet with URI President David M. Dooley Jan. 27 to expand on a memorandum of understanding that the universities signed in May 2015.

The agreement includes opportunities for cooperative research as well as faculty and student exchanges in Ghana and at URI. The West African university has a longstanding partnership with URI through CRC-led coastal management and food security projects in Ghana. Currently, CRC is leading the implementation of the five-year, $24 million United States Agency for International Development Ghana Sustainable Fisheries Management Project. The USAID grant is the largest ever awarded to URI.

Two fisheries experts from URI’s coastal center, Brian Crawford, in-country project director, and Najih Lazar, senior fisheries advisor, have been living in Ghana for the past year to help lead the project. Its goal is to revitalize marine fisheries stocks through responsible fishing practices and improved governance and ultimately benefit the more than 100,000 women and men involved in the Ghana fishing industry.

As part of this project, CRC and URI are working to build the research, educational and outreach capacity of the University of Cape Coast in coastal and fisheries management.

“Collaboration with the University of Cape Coast is an important element of the project, as one of the critical objectives of it is to build the skills and knowledge of Ghanaian stakeholders so they can continue the vital work of sustaining their fisheries sector and coastal communities long after this URI-led project has ended,” said Donald Robadue, sustainable fisheries project manager at CRC.

Leaders from both universities will discuss several aspects of the collaboration, with particular emphasis on student and faculty exchanges. These include developing an undergraduate program for URI students in Ghana during J Term, identifying areas of joint research among faculty, exploring opportunities for professional development and examining other areas of potential cooperation in marine fisheries, aquaculture and coastal resources.

The University of Cape Coast delegation also will visit URI’s Narragansett Bay Campus to meet with Graduate School of Oceanography Dean Bruce Corliss and talk with CRC colleagues about the details of the ongoing collaboration.

CRC’s MSP Work Featured in Ocean Technology Magazine

ONTcover_012016An article in the January 2016 issue of Ocean News and Technology magazine (page 26) looks at the precedent-setting work of Rhode Island’s Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP) and its role in setting the stage for Deepwater Wind and the state to develop the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

CRC’s Director of US Programs, Jen McCann, discusses the Ocean SAMP within the larger context of marine spatial planning. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski goes on to credit the Ocean SAMP for helping enable his company’s wind farm project off Block Island to advance from approval on paper to action on the water