department of kinesiology

25 Independence Way, Kingston, RI 02881


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Emily D. Clapham

  • Associate Professor, HPE Director
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Phone: 401.874.5447
  • Email:
  • Mailing Address: Independence Square, Suite P, RM 223


Emily D. Clapham, Ed.D. is an Associate Professor, the Director of the Physical Education, Health Education, Teacher Education (HPE) Program and Coordinator of the Adapted Physical Education (APE) Program in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island.

Emily’s research has centered on the new physical education, girls sport and physical activity participation and ocean therapy for children with disabilities. As an avid surfer, she has always been interested in the benefits of ocean therapy. She noticed the calming effects she personally experienced after time spent in the ocean and wondered what impact surfing ocean therapy would have on the children with disabilities. After implementing a surfing program for children with disabilities, she studied the effects of surfing and ocean therapy on the children’s physiological, social and emotional responses. The research has been highly regarded and has attracted funding from the John E. Fogarty Foundation, The University of Rhode Island’s College or Human Science and Services and Division of Research and Economic Development Office, the Brayden Carr Foundation, the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation and the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. This highly regarded project is unique, in that it combines her service (free programming for children with disabilities and their siblings), research (studying the benefits of ocean therapy on children with disabilities) and teaching (training teacher candidates to work with children with disabilities and then they serve as volunteers for the adapted surf therapy program).


Ocean Therapy, “New” Physical Education, Motivation and Physical Activity


  • Ed.D., Curriculum and Teaching, Boston University
  • M.S., Physical Education and Exercise Science, University of Rhode Island
  • B.S., Physical Education, University of Rhode Island


Moore, A., Deeney, T., & Clapham, E.D. (In Press). Parents’ Perspectives on Surf Therapy for Children with Disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.

Armitano C., Clapham E., Lamont LS. Audette J. Benefits of surfing in children with disabilities: A pilot study. Palaestra, 29(3): 31-34, 2015.

Clapham, E.D., Ciccomascolo, L.E. & Clapham, A.J. Empowering Girls with Chemistry, Exercise and Physical Activity. Strategies, 2015.

Clapham, E.D., Sullivan, E.C., & Ciccomascolo, L.E. Effects of Physical Education Supportive Curricula and Technological Devices on Physical Activity. The Physical Educator, 72(1): 83-97, 2015.

Lamont LS, Armitano C, Clapham E. Ocean surfing as a novel physiotherapy environment: A commentary. Journal of Novel Physiotherapies, 4:2-4, 2014.

Clapham, E.D., Armitano, C.N., Lamont, L., & Audette, J.G. The Ocean as a Unique Therapeutic Environment: Developing a Surfing Program. Journal of Physical Education Recreation and Dance, 85(4): 8-14, 2014.

Lamont, L., Panagiotis, P.  Armitano, C.N., Clapham, E.D. Development of a wet suit for children with Down’s syndrome. International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, 8(1): 98-103, 2013.

Clapham, E.D. (2011) Research Review: An Analysis of Physical Activity and Elementary Physical Education Curricula Using Heart Rate Monitors and Pedometers. In Ciccomascolo, L. & Sullivan, E, The Dimensions of Physical Education and Health Education: An Introduction to the Discipline. Sudsbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Clapham, E.D. (2011). Technology in PE: Pedometers and Heart Rate Monitors Are a Must for PE Today. In Ciccomascolo, L. & Sullivan, E. The Dimensions of Physical Education and Health Education: An Introduction to the Discipline.Sudsbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

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