Spatial Planning and Management

Students interested in coastal and marine spatial planning and management study how people think about, engage in, and manage their activities in coastal and ocean spaces.

Particular attention is paid to decision making processes, scientific data and information used in planning and management, spatial and temporal patterns of use, and human connections with coastal and ocean spaces. Courses in GIS mapping, coastal management, marine protected area management, and others equip our students with the knowledge and tools to contribute meaningfully to on-going spatial planning and management efforts in the US and around the world.

Students studying coastal and marine spatial planning and management have found positions with planning agencies at local, state, regional and federal levels, non-government organizations, and in academia.

Courses offered


  • MAF 300: Race, Gender, Colonialism, and Science
  • MAF 465: GIS Applications in Coastal and Marine Management
  • MAF 461: Coastal Zone Management
  • MAF 472: Coastal Tourism Studies
  • MAF 500: Race, Gender, Colonialism, and Science
  • MAF 526: Management of Marine Protected Areas
  • MAF 527: Marine Protected Areas: an interdisciplinary analysis
  • MAF 530 Marine Environmental History
  • MAF 582: Coastal Ecosystem Governance


Professor and Director of Rhode Island Sea Grant

Department of Marine Affairs


Associate Professor, Joint Appontment

Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Associate Professor, Joint appointment

Department of Marine Affairs; Gender and Women's Studies


Professor Emeritus

Department of Marine Affairs


Professor, Joint appointment &amp

Graduate School of Oceanography; Department of Marine Affairs