CELS grad student awarded humanities grant for climate change study

Alanna-CaseyKINGSTON, R.I. – August 17, 2016 – Alanna Casey is bringing a unique perspective to the study of climate change at national parks in the United States. A graduate student in the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs who already earned a master’s degree in history from URI, she is analyzing three parks from the perspective of science, policy and history to help them prepare for the inevitable challenges they will face as sea level rises due to the warming climate.

“I’m taking a dual approach,” said Casey, a native of San Ramon, Cal., with an undergraduate degree from Smith College. “I’m conducting historical research, archival work and oral histories to get historical perspectives on how the parks may have adapted to changes in the past, and I’m also interviewing site managers about how this information can be interpreted in the present.”

Casey is one of a very few students in URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences to ever be awarded a research grant from the URI Center for the Humanities, which she will use to conduct research at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Pensacola, Fla., San Francisco Maritime Historical Site in California, and Colonial National Historic Park in Jamestown, Va.

“I chose those sites because they have already been documented as having high climate change vulnerability risk, they have cultural resources to protect, they have different coastal morphologies, and they are all in different places in their vulnerability assessment process,” Casey said...[Read more]