University of Rhode Island

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The University of Rhode Island, in partnership with the Coastal Resources Management Council, has developed new tools to plan for future climate change threats. New maps with projected storm surge and sea level rise are now available online.

Courtesy of Sara Harris / University of British Columbia

For the past three weeks, we've brought you stories about how climate change is already affecting Rhode Island. Narragansett Bay is getting warmer. Seas are rapidly rising. Shorelines are eroding. And we're experiencing more severe weather events. As part of our new ongoing series, Battle With The Sea, we take a step back this week to look at the science of how we know these changes are happening.

More than 100 people will gather in Newport today to learn how to minimize impacts to waterfront businesses from sea level rise and other severe weather at the 13th Annual Baird Symposium. The one-day conference called, "Staying Afloat: Adapting Waterfront Businesses to Rising Seas and Extreme Storms," kicked off its symposium last night with a public lecture, featuring John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Levels and the Coming Coastal Crisis


Workers have completed the steel structure and concrete flooring for the new Center for Chemistry and Forensic Sciences at the University of Rhode Island.

URI says crews are now beginning to place bricks on the exterior of the five-story structure, slated for completion in spring of 2016.

The $68 million center was funded largely with a bond issue. When complete, it will provide 135,000 square feet of laboratories, classrooms and offices, nearly doubling the amount of space for chemistry research at URI. 

The full Board of Education votes Monday on tuition increases for students at the university of Rhode Island, Rhode Island college and the state's community college system.  State higher education officials call it a modest increase.  They say it is necessary after two years with no increases at URI, and three years with no increase at CCRI.  

Elisabeth Harrison

Students at the Juanita Sanchez High School in Providence can earn college credit for a biotechnology course.  It’s part of a special partnership with the University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island has announced a $24 million grant to help rebuild fisheries in Ghana. The grant for the Coastal Resources Center at the School of Oceanography is the largest in URI's history.

The money will fund a project in collaboration with USAID's Feed the Future initiative, attempting to curb over-fishing in Ghana. The project aims to help Ghana develop new fishing regulations and a management plan to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

Wikimedia Commons

Students at Rhode Island public colleges and universities could see tuition increases next year. 

The Board of Education’s Council on Higher Education has approved a budget with a nearly 3 percent increase at the University of Rhode Island and roughly 8 percent increases at Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island. 

Higher Education commissioner Jim Purcell said the increases come as state colleges have seen a 23 percent reduction in state funding over the last 5 years. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council have released the state’s first comprehensive shellfish management plan. The plan recommends better ways to protect shellfish and the shellfishing industry, and improve communication among state agencies, scientists, and fishermen.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with Mark Higgins, dean of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business. They discuss the bond issues on the November ballot including the infrastructure, environmental and arts bonds, and why borrowing more money now may not be a bad idea.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Tom Kleindinst © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A research team led by the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography will embark on an expedition to collect sediment samples of the deep seafloor beginning tomorrow for 38 days. The team wants to reconstruct how and why the earth’s temperature has changed over the last 20,000 years.

The University of Rhode Island has begun training campus police officers to carry guns after a controversial decision in April to arm the campus police force.

Public Safety Stephen Baker says the goal is to have all 27 campus officers carrying guns by the start of the Spring semester. 

"State police have completed 17 of the background checks and they’ve been delivered to us. The next step in that process is to have those officers go through psychological examinations," Baker said. "Then we’ll begin the actual firearms training, and that’s planned for the month of October."

The University of Rhode Island kicks off its annual Honors Colloquium lecture series Tuesday.  This year’s theme is cyber security.

Stories of computer hacking seem to be all over the news these days.  Most recently Home Depot’s payment systems were hacked, leaving debit card information potentially exposed. URI professor of computer science Ed LaMagna said that most people are unaware just how vulnerable they are online.


It’s Labor Day, time to celebrate workers and labor unions. For this Labor Day  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s  a tough time for workers and organized labor.

In Rhode Island, Labor Day wasn’t always just another day off. It wasn’t always just an excuse for a last  summer day at the beach.  Or a backyard cookout.

A century ago, Labor Day was a time of worker activism. In 1893, after years of agitation by workers and union leaders, the Rhode Island General Assembly established the first Monday in September as a legal, but not a paid, holiday.

Despite national trends, Rhode Island’s economy may not be on the road to recovery.  That’s according to the latest numbers from URI economics professor Leonard Lardaro. 

Lardaro’s monthly numbers track the state’s economic progress based on a variety of factors, from benefit claims to employment. Rhode Island now stands with a neutral ranking of 50 on a 100 point scale, compared with 85 during the same time last year. Lardaro blames much of this on Rhode Island’s persistent unemployment which now hovers just below eight percent.