Sunshine Menezes

  • Clinical Professor of Environmental Communication
  • Phone: 401.874.6499
  • Email:


Sunshine Menezes (she/her) is a Clinical Professor of Environmental Communication in the University of Rhode Island (URI) Department of Natural Resources Science. As a clinical professor she bridges the practice of environmental communication (and science communication more generally) and relevant research that spans a wide range of disciplines. Her professional expertise includes oceanography, estuarine ecology, environmental and energy policy, inclusive science communication, and promoting societal engagement with science. Dr. Menezes served as executive director of URI’s Metcalf Institute for nearly 18 years, expanding the Institute’s mission and portfolio to advance informed, inclusive public conversations about science and the environment. As a teacher, she aims to empower students with science communication skills through interdisciplinary and project-based explorations of communication and inclusive public engagement scholarship and practice. Menezes conceived and co-created the Inclusive SciComm Symposium, a national conference designed to build and support a community of science communication practitioners and researchers who center equity in their work. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the David Gerraughty Award for Lifetime Commitment to the Environment, and was a 2013-2014 Rhode Island Foundation Fellow. She has advised and/or participated in numerous national working groups related to inclusive public engagement with science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), including the Civic Science Fellowship and Broadening Participation Task Force organized by the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, and has contributed to national projects designed to craft new, transdisciplinary approaches to graduate education. Menezes managed Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.’s environmental policy portfolio as a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and later led the development of a novel coastal development policy for Rhode Island as a research assistant with Rhode Island Sea Grant and the URI Coastal Resources Center.


Ph.D. Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 2005
B.S. Zoology, Michigan State University, 1995

Selected Publications

  1. Valdez-Ward, E., Ulrich, R.N., Martinez-Maldonado, E. Bennett, N., Rodrigues, L., Mattheis, A., Treseder, K.K., Takahashi, B., & Menezes, S. (2024) Science communicators from marginalized backgrounds challenge STEM cultural norms to promote community belonging. Journal of Science Communication.
  2. Rodrigues, L., Takahashi, B., Tiffany, L-A., Menezes, S., & Valdez-Ward, E. (2023) Minoritized scientists in the United States: An identity perspective to science communication. Journal of Science Communication. 45(5): 567-595. Doi: 10.1177/10755470231199955
  3. Valdez-Ward, E., Ulrich, R.N., Bennett, N, Cat, L.A., Marcus, T., Menezes, S., Mattheis, A.H., & Treseder, K. (2023) ReclaimingSTEM: a healing-centered counterspace model for inclusive science communication and policy training. Frontiers in Communication. 8:1026383. Doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2023.1026383.
  4. Menezes, S., Murray-Johnson, K., Smith, H., Trautmann, H., & Azizi, M. (2022) Making Science Communication Inclusive: An Exploratory Study of Choices, Challenges, and Change Mechanisms in the United States from an Emerging Movement. Journal of Science
    Communication. 21(05)(2022)A03.
  5. DiCenzo, C., Menezes, S., Smith, H., Murray-Johnson, K., Azizi, M., & McDuffie, K. Inclusive Science Communication Starter Kit. (2021). Metcalf Institute, University of Rhode Island. Kingston, RI.
  6. Dewsbury, B., Segura-Totten, M. Lo, S.M., Gibbons Bailey, E., Beaster-Jones, L., Bills, R.J., Brownell, S.E, Caporale, N., Dunk, R., Eddy, S.L., García-Ojeda, M.E., Gardner, S.M., Green, L., Hartley, L., Harrison, C., Imad, M.M., Janosik, A.M., Jeong, S., Josek, T., Kadandale, P., Knight, J., Ko, M., Kukday, S., Lemons, P., Litster, M., Lom, B., Ludwig, P., McDonald, K., McIntosh, A., Menezes, S., Nadile, E., Newman, S., Ochoa, S., Olabisi, O., Owens, M., Price, R., Reid, J., Ruggeri, N., Sabatier, C., Sabel, J., Sato, B., Smith-Keiling, B.L., Tatapudy, S., Theobald, E., Tripp, B., Pradhan, M., Venkatesh, M., Wilton, M., Warfa, A.N., Wyatt, B. & Raut, S. (2021) Chronicling the journey of the Society for the Advancement in Biology Education Research (SABER) in its effort to become antiracist: from acknowledgement to action. Frontiers in Education. 6:780401.
  7. Anderson, S., K. McDuffie, and S. Menezes. (2020) Science Communication for Natural Resource Managers: Techniques and Examples in Marine Systems. In Y.Q. Wang (Ed.), The Handbook of Natural Resources. (2nd ed.)
  8. Canfield, K. & Menezes, S. 2020. The State of Inclusive Science Communication: A Landscape Study. Metcalf Institute, University of Rhode Island. Kingston, RI. 77 pp.
  9. Anderson, SI, McDuffie, K, & Menezes, S. (2020). Science Communication for Natural Resource Managers: Techniques and Examples in Marine Systems, In Y.Q. Wang (Ed.), The Handbook of Natural Resource Science Volume 5, Coastal and Marine Environments (2nd ed., pp. 143-150). CRC Press. 10.1201/9780429441004-14.
  10. Canfield KN, Menezes S, Matsuda SB, Moore A, Mosley Austin AN, Dewsbury BM, Feliú-Mójer MI, McDuffie KWB, Moore K, Reich CA, Smith HM and Taylor C (2020) Science Communication Demands a Critical Approach That Centers Inclusion, Equity, and Intersectionality. Front. Commun. 5:2. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2020.00002
  11. Smith H, Menezes S, Canfield K, Guldin R, Morgoch M and McDuffie K (2020) Moving Toward Inclusion: Participant Responses to the Inclusive SciComm Symposium. Front. Commun. 4:77. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2019.00077
  12. Menezes S (2018) Science Training for Journalists: An Essential Tool in the Post-Specialist Era of Journalism. Front. Commun.3:4. doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2018.00004
  13. Menezes, S. January 2018. Science beat: Why niche fellowships and programs are increasingly critical. NewsPro Magazine, pp. 25-26.
  14. Smith, H., S. Menezes, & C. Gilbert. 2017. Science training & environmental journalism today: Effects of science journalism training for midcareer professionals, Applied Environmental Education and Communication, DOI: 10.1080/1533015X.2017.1388197
  15. Menezes, S. 2016. Ten communication tips for translational scientists. Integration and Implementation Insights.


  • NRS 543 – Public Engagement with Science
  • NRS 442 – Environmental Crisis Communication
  • NRS 542 – Environmental Crisis Communication