Coastal Fellows Program

College of the Environment and Life Sciences, University of Rhode Island

About the program

Educational Rationale

Much of the scholarship and outreach taking place today is at the cutting edge of the application of science to the improvement of the world’s health, agricultural and natural resource systems. Typically, this research and resulting outreach happens in specialized laboratory, professional, and field settings that are removed from undergraduate classroom teaching.

Environmental issues today are complex. They require expert problem solvers, adept at addressing emerging problems and implementing programs that draw on a range of disciplines and technologies. This requires a new type of training, one that draws from both the classroom and the research and applied venues. The Coastal Fellowship Program bridges these two worlds to maximize educational opportunities for undergraduate students.

Hands-on Team Learning

Coastal Fellows work within vertically integrated research or outreach teams that are problem-driven by nature. Teams involve some mix of faculty, research or outreach staff, land and sea grant educators, post-doctorate fellows, community professionals, and graduate students. These multigenerational teams provide students with a range of learning experiences and project-related support. Students take responsibility for a small piece of the project’s overall research or outreach design and follow the work through to completion.

rationale1“Classroom experience and knowledge are important but mean hardly anything unless one can apply them in a real atmosphere to see results.”
— Geosciences student and former Coastal Fellow

rationale2

“I can finally utilize some of the knowledge I have so painstakingly acquired in my classes in a real-world situation. The ability to improvise and solve problems is important. I wish all my learning experiences could be as enjoyable and productive.”
— Fisheries, Animal & Veterinary Sciences student and former Coastal Fellow

Think Big We Do

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