Tiffany Smythe

Program: M.A. Marine Affairs 2007; Ph.D. Marine Affairs 2011
Current Position:
Coastal Management Extension Specialist, URI Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program; Adjunct Professor, URI Department of Marine Affairs

Tiffany specializes in marine spatial planning, offshore renewable energy, climate resilience, ecosystem-based management, and marine transportation and recreation. As an interdisciplinary social scientist and coastal management practitioner, Tiffany’s job at the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant (RISG) is to conduct applied research and outreach, facilitate stakeholder groups and interdisciplinary teams, and contribute to state coastal and ocean planning and policy development initiatives. She was one of the team who developed the RI Ocean Special Area Management Plan which led to the siting of the Block Island Wind Farm, the nation’s first offshore wind energy development. As a Marine Affairs professional, Tiffany worked at CRC/RI Sea Grant as a grad student, and later went on to work in the non-profit, academic, government and consulting sectors with organizations including the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Sea Education Association and the New York Harbor Foundation before returning to URI. Prior to Marine Affairs, Tiffany earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Columbia University and worked in sail training and education, acquiring a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license and working as sailing crew and teaching staff aboard educational tall ships in the U.S. and abroad.

Tiffany notes that the value of her Marine Affairs education included rigorous coursework in foundational topics such as coastal zone law and federal ocean policy as well as the opportunity to work with professors who are not only talented scholars but who are accessible, supportive, and committed to her success. She also notes that the network she developed through Marine Affairs has proven invaluable to her professional development as both an academic and a practitioner.  She is happy to speak with prospective and current students.