About Rhode Island’s Climate Change Collaborative
“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
- Vince Lombardi
Researchers from a variety of backgrounds at the University of Rhode Island have joined forces with other colleagues to explain and outline the fact of climate change. We have made every effort to respect diverse opinions on how best to adapt to climate change, while illustrating the inevitable problems with which we all have to deal.
This website is designed to broaden the understanding of people concerned with climate change, from the general public to scientists. No matter what you do or who you are, climate change is going to have an impact on you. We hope this will aid in answering your concerns, and most importantly, provide practical guidance on what you can do to minimize your risks.
We also created this website to be a helpful tool in navigating the fact of climate change and to aid you as you prepare for its impacts. We welcome your feedback — let us know how we’re doing. Thanks for joining the team.
- The Climate Change Collaboration Team
Isaac Ginis enjoys opportunities to be with his grandson teaching him the wonders of science as well as traveling to fill his curiosity about what's going on around the world. As a URI Professor of Oceanography, he creates computer models to better forecast the path and intensity of hurricanes to help emergency managers make critical decisions about evacuations and first responders prepare for the severe storms, saving lives, homes and businesses. These models were used during Hurricane Sandy to identify what locations would experience hurricane or gale force winds and when the hurricane would make landfall.
“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” - Niels Bohr
Photo: Isaac (on the left) talking to Senator Jack Reed in Washington, D.C.
Bruce Hooke is a website developer, photographer, and artist. He designs and maintains websites for numerous environmental organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and has been an active contributor to the completion of this site, handling the graphic design and the coding. He enjoys canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing and dancing; and swims every morning, winter and summer, in the pond near his house.
“I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature...”
- Henry David Thoreau, “Walking,” The Atlantic Monthly, June 1862
Photo: Bruce hiking in the Wasatch Range in Utah.
Heather McGee enjoys spearfishing, fantasy football, and spending time in the gardens on her small hobby farm in rural southern Rhode Island. As a graduate student in the Behavioral Science Ph.D. program at URI, she focuses on research methodology and seeks out opportunities to collaborate with researchers from many different backgrounds.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
- Lao Tzu
Heather spearfishing in Rhode Island.
Andrea Paiva is a behavior change researcher who enjoys running and fitness and spending time with her friends and family outdoors. Her focus is on helping others achieve fitness to improve their lives. She is an Assistant Research Professor at URI’s Cancer Prevention Research Center.
James Prochaska enjoys the great outdoors and seeks to push the frontiers of science to improve our social and natural environment. A Professor and Director of URI’s Cancer Prevention Research Center, Jim is internationally recognized for his work as a developer of the stage model of behavior change.
“With change, you learn something. If you do the same thing over and over again, you never learn anything.”
- Andrea Bocelli
Photo: Jim riding the range in Nevada.
Nicole Rohr is a lover of travel and trying new things, be it a California vintage or skydiving. She recently returned to Rhode Island from Washington D.C. where she worked for both Republican and Democrat members of Congress on oceans, environment, and agriculture issues. She serves as the Assistant Director of URI’s Coastal Institute and her research focused on the impact of invasive crabs on the plants and animals that live with in Narragansett Bay.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
- Carl Sagan
Photo: Nicole on the Connecticut Wine Trail.
Norbert Mundorf commutes by bike to URI regularly. He regularly travels to Germany to learn more alternatives to the automobile such as the eBike with a much smaller carbon footprint or the development of a high-speed bicycle road to allow large numbers of bikers to commute from the train station to various places on campus. He is a Professor of Communication Studies with research and outreach interests in sustainable transportation.
“Without Deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
- Frank Zappa
Photo: Norbert during an eBike trial in Germany
Clara Rubin serves her community as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Union Fire District and Hope Valley Ambulance. She has a Masters in Marine Affairs from URI and is currently studying for a doctorate in disaster management. Her focus? Helping first responders prepare for climate change impacts.
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”
- Aldo Leopold
Photo: Clara working on Engine 10 in Peace Dale.
Pam Rubinoff spends time along the coast on foot, on travel and in her kayak checking out the seals, surge, and sea levels. A Coastal Management Specialist, she currently works at the Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant Program at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography engaging coastal communities and decision-makers on issues and opportunities posed by coastal hazards and climate change.
“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
- Mary Oliver
Photo: Pam kayaking on one of Rhode Island’s salt ponds.
Judith Swift is an early adopter of sustainability and loves reading, any coastal activity, her dog and Bruce Springsteen. She is deeply engaged in disaster management and social equity. Swift is a Professor of Communication Studies and Theatre who is a resident director for the Gamm Theatre.
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity.”
- John F. Kennedy
Chip Young is an avid golfer who spends more of his time on the course than you would imagine talking about climate change and answering questions for his fellow players. A Senior Fellow at the URI Coastal Institute and president of CY, LLC, a communications firm, Chip has been a journalist, communications strategist and environmental advocate for over 30 years.
“You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows”
- Bob Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Photo: Chip on the golf course.
This website is the product of extensive input from a wide range of people. The list is lengthy and we risk forgetting a vital few by naming the many. Creating Waves of Change was one of the longest labors we have collectively undertaken. There were numerous points at which an exhausted “why don’t we just...” — fill in the blank with some expedient solution — was answered with a resounding “no!” We were determined to create the best possible product regardless of time and tide that waited for no man. At one point, the site was ready for primetime and Hurricane Sandy came along resulting in a need for complete updates. Whether or not you agree on its value, we can assure you that our efforts were always aimed at giving you, the public, the most understandable series of insights regarding climate change, a site that is easy navigated, and, hopefully, a mix of messages that are serious, which climate change surely is, thoughtful, respectful, and even optimistic with a dash of humor.
Our deep appreciation goes to our many supporters and contributors:
- To Rhode Island Sea Grant who funded the RI Climate Change Collaborative, with additional funding provided by the URI Coastal Institute, for this creative endeavor that took climate science off the beaten path;
- To scientists affiliated with academic institutions, NGOs, and agencies, who provided the most up-to-date information and generous review on content;
- To graduate students who served as research foot soldiers and brought a balance of passion and professional detachment to the work;
- To volunteer “average people” who provided feedback and insightful suggestions to maximize the impact of this endeavor;
- To policy-makers who asked and answered the tough questions of adaptation; and
- To professionals from a wide variety of disciplines who shone a light on climate change through the prism of multiple perspectives thereby creating ever-changing vistas in the form of cartoons, videos, topics and ideas for adaptation.
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it is little surprise that it took our State to produce this website.