PROVIDENCE - The R.I. Science & Technology Advisory Council has awarded more than $800,000 in grants to seven teams of researchers for projects on climate change and marine issues, as well as development of communications to bring those issues to the public, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Friday.
The 2014 Rhode Island Research Alliance Collaborative Research Grants were awarded to teams with a total of 24 researchers from 11 universities, state and federal agencies and nonprofits.
“This research affirms Rhode Island’s status as an international leader in understanding and predicting the response of marine organisms and marine ecosystems to climate variability,” said Chafee said. “There has been strong evidence and scientific consensus that man-made greenhouse gases will have profound effects on global climate, weather patterns and ocean conditions - effects that the state cannot afford to ignore. These STAC grants will help maintain and protect our waters and marine life.”
The projects are meant to improve strategies for fisheries and aquaculture management, improve understanding of how to predict harmful algal blooms and to develop communications tools to inform the public on the local impact of climate change.
The grants, including project title and grant amount are as follows:
$160,402 - “The Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on the Biogeochemistry and Ecology of RI's Coastal Waters – Regional Climate Modeling,” awarded to Sarah Knowlton of Rhode Island College, and Sesanne Menden-Deuer and Lewis Rothstein of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
$135,000 - “Resilience to Climate Change: Testing Sculptural Forms for Coastal Habitat Restoration,” awarded to Steven Brown of The Nature Conservancy, Scheri Fultineer and Edythe Wright of Rhode Island School of Design, Marta Gomez-Chiarri of the University of Rhode Island, Breea Govenar of Rhode Island College, Dale Leavitt of Roger Williams University, and Pam Rubinoff, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant.
$133,057 - “Developing an aerial imaging system using a robotic helicopter for tracking harmful algal blooms in Narragansett Bay,” awarded to Giancarlo Cicchetti of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Christopher Deacutis of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, and Stephen Licht and Carol Thornber of the University of Rhode Island
$125,000 - “Data Narratives: Climate Change in Narragansett Bay as a Case Study for Engaging Communication of Scientific Information,” awarded to Sesanne Menden-Deuer of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, Sunshine Menezes of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Science, and Neal Overstrom of Rhode Island School of Design
$107,300 - “Environmental Genomics and Proteomics of Nitrogen Stress in Narragansett Bay,” awarded to David Rand of Brown University and Tatiana Rynearson of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
$95,742 - “Changes in plankton bloom patterns and trophic relationships in response to climate-induced warming of Narragansett Bay,” awarded to David Borkman of Salve Regina University and Theodore Smayda of the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography
$50,000 - “Molecular Basis for Pathogenesis in the Oyster Pathogen, Roseovarius crassostreae,” awarded to David Nelson and David Rowley of the University of Rhode Island, and Roxanna Smolowitz of Roger Williams University