Environment and Life Sciences


John Kirby, Dean
Richard C. Rhodes III, Associate Dean
Anne I. Veeger, Associate Dean
Kimberly M. Anderson, Assistant Dean


In the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS), we strive for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Our mission is to provide our students with the skills, knowledge, and insight needed to meet the challenges of today’s world; address contemporary problems through innovative, relevant scholarly research; and, in the tradition of our Land Grant and Sea Grant heritage, extend our research-based knowledge to the local, state, and global community. While the interests and expertise of the faculty, students, and professional staff of the College are diverse, ranging from the most basic aspects of the biological systems that make up life on earth to the complexity of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the CELS community is united in its concern for and dedication to the enhancement of human health and well-being, environmental sustainability, and stewardship of the earth’s resources.

Our Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences and the URI Coastal Research Institute house state-of-the-art teaching facilities, high-tech research labs, a genomics center, and an aquarium facility, all designed to meet the needs of the College’s programs in biotechnology and the environmental, life, and health sciences.

The College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) offers undergraduate majors leading to three degrees: the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), and the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.). The following majors are offered within the B.S. degree program: animal science and technology, aquaculture and fishery technology, biological sciences, cell and molecular biology, environmental and natural resource economics,  environmental science and management, geology and geological oceanography, marine affairs, marine biology, medical laboratory science, nutrition and dietetics, plant sciences, and wildlife and conservation biology. Students may also obtain a B.A. in biology or marine affairs, or a B.L.A. in landscape architecture.

Options have been developed within most majors to help students prepare for graduate study, professional training, or specialized careers. Entering freshmen and transfer students with fewer than 24 credits are admitted to University College for Academic Success and may choose a major in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences at that time.

Undergraduate students from any college may develop a minor from one of the majors offered by the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. See details later in this section, as well as “Interdepartmental Minors”. Details can be worked out with an appropriate faculty advisor. In addition, most departments have an internship program for combining hands-on professional experience with academic credit.

CELS encourages students in all majors to pursue opportunities such as undergraduate research fellowships, internships, apprenticeships, and field studies that will complement their formal classroom learning.

CELS and the fifth-year Master of Oceanography Program. The fifth-year Master of Oceanography (M.O.) program is designed for URI students who want to enter the Graduate School of Oceanography’s M.O. program while still an undergraduate and complete the degree in the year following completion of the B.S. The program is open to qualified URI undergraduates in the natural sciences or engineering. Eligibility and program requirements can be found in the “Graduate Programs” section of this catalog.

For more information, visit uri.edu/cels or call 401.874.2957.

In case of discrepancies between this Catalog and the departmental materials, this URI Catalog is considered definitive. Departmental websites and departmental curricular and course materials are maintained independently and do not necessarily reflect University-approved curricular and course information.


Biological Sciences: Professor Wilga, chairperson. Professors Bullock, Fastovsky, Kass-Simon, Killingbeck, Kirby, Koske, Roberts, and Webb; Associate Professors Irvine, Katz, Norris, Preisser, Seibel, and Thornber; Assistant Professors Fournier, Kolbe, Lane, and Moseman-Valtierra; Adjunct Professors Carlton, Deacutis, Grogan, Henry, McGarigal, Schneider, and Summers; Adjunct Associate Professors Bailey, Cromarty, Gemma, Orwig, and Thursby; Adjunct Assistant Professors Anderson, Austin, King, Leicht-Young, Raposa and Swanson; Adjunct Research Assistant Professor Blouin; Professors Emeriti Albert, Beckman, Bibb, Caroselli, Cobb, Costantino, Goertemiller, Harlin, Hauke, Heppner, Hyland, and Twombly; Associate Professor Emeritus Krueger; Research Professor Hill.

Cell and Molecular Biology: Professor Sun, chairperson. Professors Bradley, Chandlee, P. Cohen, Goldsmith, Hufnagel, Kausch, D. Nelson, and Sperry; Associate Professors Howlett, Jenkins, L. Martin, and Norris; Adjunct Professor Mehta; Research Professors A. DeGroot, L. DeGroot, and Spero; Assistant Research Professor Moise; Professors Emeriti Cabelli, Hartman, Laux, Traxler, and Tremblay; Associate Professor Emeritus Mottinger; Clinical Professor Paquette.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: Professor Opaluch, chairperson. Professor J.L. Anderson; Assistant Professors Lang, Sproul, E. Uchida, and H. Uchida; Adjunct Professors C. M. Anderson, Asche, Holland, Johnston, Mazzota, Roheim, Shogren, and Swallow; Professors Emeriti Grigalunas, Sutinen, and Tyrrell.

Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science: Professor Gomez-Chiarri, chairperson. Professors Bengtson, Bradley, Mallilo, Rhodes, and Rice; Associate Professors Petersson and Sartini; Lecturer Launer; Adjunct Professors Hoey, Klein-McPhee, Musik, and Smolowitz; Adjunct Associate Professors Colwill and Hare; Adjunct Assistant Professors Brumbaugh, Castro, Dudzinski, Hancock, Leavitt, Rheault, Schwartz, and Weatherbee; Adjunct Clinical Professor Serra; Professors Emeriti Chang, Costa-Pierce, DeAlteris, McCreight, Nippo, Recksiek, and Wolke.

Geosciences: Professor Fastovsky, chairperson. Full Professors Boving; Associate Professors Petersson, Sartini, Savage and Veeger; Assistant Professors Cardace and Engelhart; Adjunct Professors Burks, Fischer, Hapke, Pockalny, and Spiegelman; Professors Emeriti Boothroyd, Cain, Hermes, and Murray.

Landscape Architecture: Professor Green, chairperson. Professors Atash, Sheridan, and Simeoni; Associate Professor Gordon; Adjunct Assistant Professors Bradley, Carter, Desilets, Greenleaf, Kelley, Veri, and Weygand; Professor Emeritus Hanson.

Marine Affairs:  Professor Thompson, chairperson. Professors Burroughs, Dalton, Juda, Marti, and D. Nixon; Associate Professor Macinko; Research Professor Pollnac; Joint Appointments: Barry Costa-Pierce (Sea Grant), Tim George (History), and Tim Hennessey (Political Science); Adjunct Professors Lisa Colburn (NOAA), Kenneth Payne, Jesper Raakjaer (Aalborg University, Denmark); and Professors Emeriti Alexander, Knauss, and West; Associate Professor Emeritus Krausse.

Medical Laboratory Science: Clinical Professor Paquette, director. Clinical Associate Professors Bozzi, Klitz, and Uhnak. Adjunct Clinical Professors Gmuer, Pisharodi, and Sweeney; Adjunct Clinical Associate Professors Cataldo and Mello; Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professors Braga, Ferreira, Hoffman, Martineau, and Smeal.

Natural Resources Science: Professor Gold, chairperson. Professors Amador, August, Forrester, Husband, McWilliams, Paton, Stolt, and Wang; Associate Professor Meyerson; Assistant Professor Karraker; Adjunct Professors Paul and Perez; Adjunct Associate Professors Abedon, Cerrato, Daehler, Gorres, Groffman, Nowicki, O’Connell, Reed, Rockwell and Smith; Adjunct Assistant Professors Augeri, Bergondo, Buffum, Dabek, Detenbeck, Eisenbies, Eldridge, Farnsworth, Gayaldo, Good, Hollister, Jarecki, Kellogg, Lashomb, McKinney, McGreevy, Milstead, Peters, Pierce, Rubinstein, Saltonstall, Steele, Tefft and Vinhateiro; Professors Emeriti Brown, Golet, and Wright.

Nutrition and Food Sciences: Professor English, chairperson. Professor Greene; Associate Professors Gerber and Melanson; Assistant Professors Lofgren and Tovar; Adjunct Professor Sebelia; Adjunct Associate Professor Pivarnik; Professors Emeriti Caldwell, Constantinides, Lee, and Rand; Instructors Arpino and Koness.

Plant Sciences and Entomology: Professor Mitkowski, chairperson. Professors Alm, Casagrande, LeBrun, Mather, Maynard, Ruemmele, and Sullivan; Associate Professors Brown, Englander; Professor-in-Residence Ginsberg; Adjunct Assistant Professor Gettman; Professors Emeriti Beckman, Hull, and Jackson; Associate Professor Emeritus Krul.

Curriculum Requirements for Majors

All Programs. CELS students need not only a 2.00 GPA to graduate, but also a minimum of a 2.00 GPA in their major concentration area (see specific program requirements) to qualify for graduation.

Bachelor of Arts. Students who pursue the B.A. in marine affairs or biology must fulfill the Basic Liberal Studies requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences (see Basic Liberal Studies Requirements). Also see the listings under biology and marine affairs in this section.

Bachelor of Science. Most of the college’s B.S. programs require a minimum of 120 credits for graduation, except when specified otherwise under the program description. Required courses come from three categories: general education requirements (36 credits); program requirements (77–85 credits); and free electives (6–12 credits).

The following outline gives the basic general education requirements for all students in the B.S. curriculum within the college. Individual programs may require that specific courses be selected.

English Communication (6 credits): three credits in written communication from courses in Group Cw, and three credits in oral communication from communication studies.

Mathematics (3 credits)

Natural Sciences (6 credits)

Social Sciences (6 credits)

In addition, 15 credits must be chosen from:

Letters (3–6 credits)

Fine Arts and Literature (3–6 credits)

Foreign Language and Culture (3–6 credits)

Total: 36 credits.

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. For information on the curriculum requirements for URI’s B.L.A. degree, see Landscape Architecture later in this section.

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