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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to protect the RI coast from climate change

U.S. Rep. James Langevin to host Coastal Resiliency Symposium at the URI
Image result for Rhode Island coastU.S. Rep. James Langevin, along with a number of University of Rhode Island experts, will convene for a symposium on the topic of extreme weather conditions, including storm surge and flooding, as they affect military installations and the Rhode Island coastline.

URI faculty with expertise in storm modelling and mapping, response and resiliency, ocean and civil engineering, and geologic oceanography will participate in the symposium to be held Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m., in Corless Auditorium at URI’s Bay Campus, 215 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island. Registration is at 9:30 a.m.


A 2018 Department of Defense study indicated that more than half of the 3,500 U.S. military’s sites located both in the U.S. and internationally are affected by instances of extreme weather. Storm surge, here in Rhode Island as well as other coastal regions, can be a particular risk, with more than 200 domestic sites alone reporting flooding—an increase of more than 500 percent over the number reported in 2008.

Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jonathan W. White, former commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanographic Command, will deliver the keynote address. White has a B.S. in oceanographic technology from the Florida Institute of Technology and holds a master’s degree in meteorology and oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

He was commissioned through Navy Officer Candidate School in 1983, and has had operational shore assignments at Jacksonville, Florida; Guam; Monterey, California; and Stuttgart, Germany, where his joint duty included Special Operations Command Europe, and strike plans officer for U.S. European Command during Operation Allied Force in Kosovo and Serbia. White commanded the Naval Training Meteorology and Oceanography Facility, Pensacola, Florida, and was the 50th superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory.

White’s sea tours as a naval oceanographer include commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 12, where he completed deployments on board USS Saratoga (CV 60) and USS Wasp (LHD 1). He was promoted to the rank of rear admiral (upper half) in August 2012 as he assumed his duties as director, Task Force Climate Change, and Navy deputy to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Rear Admiral White retired in 2015. He presently serves as president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Symposium panelists and topics are:

Christopher D.P. Baxter, professor, ocean, civil and environmental engineering— “Engineering’s Role in Resiliency and Educating the Next Generation.”

Austin Becker, assistant professor, coastal planning, policy and design— “Stimulating Transformational Thinking for Long-Term Climate Resilience.”

John King, professor, geological oceanography— “Climate Model Predictions and Trends in Observational Data for Coastal Environments.”

Pamela Rubinoff, coastal management and climate extension specialist, Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant— “Engaging Decision Makers in Resilience.”

Congressman Langevin, URI President David M. Dooley, and URI’s Vice President for Research and Economic Development Peter J. Snyder will speak at the symposium.

The event is free and open to the public, however, registration is suggested. For more information, and registration link, visit: uri.edu/coastalresilience.