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    Barnegat Bay Marine Debris Project Featured in Monmouth Magazine  

    June 27, 2017  

    Ghost Fishing spread

    Check out the summer issue of Monmouth magazine for an excellent profile on work by UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels and School of Science students to rid the Barnegat Bay floor of hazardous marine debris. The project, funded by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, led to the removal of 1,300 derelict crab pots that can continue to trap and kill marine life - an occurrence known as "ghost fishing."


    High Water Mark Initiative Receives Sustainable Raritan Award

    June 22, 2017

    HWM award

    Above: UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels accepts Sustainable Raritan Award from (l-r) Debbie Mans, Executive Director of NY/NJ Baykeeper; William Kibler, Director of Policy for the Raritan Headwaters; and Michael Catania, Executive Director of the Duke Farms Foundation.


    The Urban Coast Institute was among a team of partners honored by the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative for a project that is raising awareness among Bayshore residents, visitors and public officials about the risks of coastal flooding.

    The Monmouth County High Water Mark Initiative is a unique public education effort that encourages smart mitigation actions while also saving property owners significant sums of money via lower flood insurance premiums. To date, the county has posted 72 signs in 15 county municipalities showing where floodwaters reached during Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. The signs provide a vivid reminder about the steps necessary for waterfront communities to protect themselves against powerful coastal storms in the future.

    Launched in 2015, the Initiative is being led by the Monmouth County Division of Planning and County Office of Emergency Management in partnership with the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and the UCI. The Initiative provides participating Community Rating System (CRS) communities an opportunity to gain points when they install high water mark signs on public buildings, utility poles or other structures. As a result of the Initiative, home and property owners in participating communities are saving approximately $1.4 million in flood insurance premium per year.

    The Initiative was the recipient of the Government Innovation Award at the 9th Annual Sustainable Raritan Conference and Awards Ceremony, held June 9 in New Brunswick. The awards recognize outstanding achievements in efforts to revitalize, restore and protect Raritan watershed resources and to make the region a premiere place to live, work and raise a family. (Click here for Sustainable Raritan's press release with a full list of the 2017 honorees.)

    UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels accepted the award on behalf of the team. Nickels and students from the Monmouth University School of Science helped identify and record the precise flood heights at the points where signs were placed in each community.

    "This was not only a valuable learning experience for our students but an opportunity for them to make an important contribution to the continued recovery of these storm-devastated communities," Nickels said. "It especially meant a lot for some of our students who grew up in these towns and experienced Sandy firsthand."

    New Jersey Sea Grant has also taken the project to the classroom, creating High Water Mark lesson plans that can be implemented by area teachers.

    Want to know where the High Water Mark signs are in your neighborhood? Find out with this story map. And if you see one, take a picture and share it on social media using the hashtag #MonmouthHWM, and we'll share it on the High Water Mark Storify page.

    UCI in the Classroom: Life’s a Beach at Monmouth University

    June 21, 2017


    On World Ocean Day, UCI staff joined Dr. Heidi Bludau’s “Life’s a Beach” cultural anthropology and geography class (AN/GO 282) to discuss the Jersey Shore’s ocean environment and economy. The unique Monmouth University course examines cultural events and activities such as labor, food, tourism, disaster, sport and architecture in coastal regions around the world.

    The class met on the banks of the Navesink River in Rumson, where UCI Associate Director Tom Herrington lead a lesson on the history of New Jersey’s evolving coastline, shore tourism industry, coastal resilience and beach replenishment efforts. UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels also provided students with a guided boat tour of the Shrewsbury and Navesink river areas leading up to Sandy Hook Bay.

    Learn about the class by viewing the available video and flip through our album of photos on Facebook.

    Add Monmouthu.uci on Snapchat

    June 7, 2017


    The UCI is now on Snapchat! Find us at monmouthu.uci and add us in a snap.

    You can also follow the UCI on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube.

    Summer Reading: UCI Releases Guide to Beach Access Law in New Jersey

    May 24, 2017

    Beach Access Report Cover

    Just in time for beach season, the UCI is pleased to release A Practical Guide to Beach Access and the Public Trust Doctrine in New Jersey.

    The Guide is intended for all audiences, including citizens and visitors to the Jersey Shore as well as the municipalities that serve as their hosts. It clarifies the rights established through the Public Trust Doctrine -- the legal principle that guides beach access law -- by explaining its basis and origins, reviewing 10 of the most influential court decisions, and providing a series of FAQs on real world public access situations. 

    Readers can access the Guide online with the links below:

    We hope you enjoy the Guide and look forward to another great summer in New Jersey. See you at the beach!

    UCI to Assist in Researching Sediment Contamination in N.Y. Harbor Channels

    May 23, 2017

    The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) has received a $4 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Transportation to work with the Hudson River Foundation and other partners to study sediment contamination levels in New York/New Jersey Harbor.

    Container ship

    The research will focus on navigation channels that are periodically dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure they're deep enough for container ships, tankers and other large vessels traveling to and from the Port of New York and New Jersey. Ultimately, the three-year project will help determine whether dredged materials in these areas are clean enough to deposit at sea, or when they will be in light of remediation efforts. Arrangements must be made to move sediments that do not meet ocean disposal standards to suitable sites on land.

    The project builds upon the work of a 2002 Contamination Assessment and Reduction Project (CARP) that modeled the rates in which remediation efforts and natural processes would improve the quality of sediments in these areas. This latest project, known as CARP II, would revisit the accuracy of the models based on new and recent sampling and consider how unforeseen factors such as Hurricanes Sandy and Irene may have impacted contamination levels. CARP II will produce new 15- and 25-year projections based on the findings.

    "This project will provide the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other harbor stakeholders the scientific information they need to plan future dredge projects in a manner that fully considers the health of marine environments," said UCI Director Tony MacDonald, the project's administrator. "With the Panama Canal expansion complete and the Bayonne Bridge being raised, New York and New Jersey can expect to see far larger vessels at their marine terminals. The maintenance of our navigation channels will be more important than ever to safely accommodate these megaships and ensure our ports remain economically competitive."

    cargo ship

    The UCI and the Hudson River Foundation will serve as co-principal investigators on the project. The team will also include researchers from Manhattan College, Rutgers University, the University of Rhode Island and two private consultants, Simon Litten and HDR, Inc.

    "This new research project provides a unique opportunity to develop scientifically valid management tools, including the possibility of a new screening technique to drastically reduce the costs of determining the level of contamination in sediments slated to be dredged," said Hudson River Foundation Science Director Dennis Suszkowski.

    UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels will lead the field sampling activities. Monmouth University student researchers will participate in these efforts under Nickels' guidance.

    "Through CARP II, students will have excellent opportunities to conduct scientific research outside of the classroom," Nickels said. "Their work will help gauge the health of some of the busiest marine corridors in the country."

    Sampling is expected to take place at points in the Arthur Kill, East River, Flushing Bay, Hackensack River, Hudson River, Lower and Upper New York Bay, Newark Bay, Passaic River, Raritan Bay, Raritan River, Red Hook Channel and Sandy Hook Bay.

    Herrington Joins Urban Coast Institute as Associate Director

    May 11, 2017


    Dr. Thomas Herrington has been appointed as the first associate director of the UCI. The hire reflects the UCI's continued growth and Monmouth University's commitment as the "Coastal University" to expand its capacity as a leading research and policy center.

    Herrington has extensive experience working at the state, regional and national level and is one of New Jersey's leading experts on coastal processes, beach management and ocean engineering. He will work closely with UCI staff, Monmouth faculty, students and other partners to help find solutions to the challenges facing coastal communities, sustainable coastal economies and health ocean ecosystems.

    Prior to joining the UCI, Herrington served as the director of the ocean engineering graduate program at the Stevens Institute of Technology from 2007-17 and the director of the New Jersey Coastal Protection Technical Assistance Service from 2002-17. He has over 25 years of experience in coastal sustainability and hazard mitigation research, including the analysis of storm surge and wave impacts on coastal communities. He is well acquainted with the UCI, having recently served as a member of its Advisory Committee.

    "Tom is uniquely positioned to make the UCI a stronger organization and have an immediate impact on our ability to work with coastal communities on a wider variety of issues. We are thrilled to have him aboard," said UCI Director Tony MacDonald. "This year's fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy reminds us not only of the progress we have made, but the many steps that are still necessary to prepare for future major storms and sea level rise. Monmouth University and the Jersey Shore are fortunate to have one of the East Coast's leading voices on beaches and coastal resilience here to help lead the way."

    "The beach has always been a major part of my life, going back to my days growing up in Ocean City, New Jersey," said Herrington, now a resident of Monroe. "I'm excited for the opportunity to work at the shore and contribute to an organization that is poised to make transformational impact in coastal science and policy."

    Herrington has authored or coauthored over 100 journal, outreach and technical publications in the field of coastal and ocean engineering, including the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium's Manual for Coastal Hazard Mitigation, and is a contributing author to "Blue Dunes: Climate Change by Design." He is a contributing scientist to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Post-Sandy North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study and the New Jersey State Hazard Mitigation Plan.

    He serves on the FEMA Region II Coastal Outreach Advisory Team and is on the Board of Directors of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association and the Jersey Shore Partnership. He holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering as well as master's and doctorate in Ocean Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology.


    UCI Awards Grants for 11 Student-Faculty Research Projects

    April 27, 2017

    From mapping the bottom of Jersey Shore lakes to a video game based on Superstorm Sandy, this summer's round of UCI-funded research projects is among the most diverse to date.


    Eleven projects were selected this week to receive funding through the UCI's Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Summer Research Program and Marine Science & Policy Initiative. The work will be completed by about two dozen Monmouth University students, faculty and staff members representing a wide range of academic disciplines.

    The Marine Science & Policy Initiative and Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Summer Research Program emphasize hands-on research projects that provide real world experience for students while helping make a difference in the communities where they take place. The programs allow students to design and propose their own research ideas and carry them out under the guidance of Monmouth University faculty mentors. See below for descriptions of this summer's projects.

    Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Summer Research Grants

    Lake Como Bathymetry and Flood Mapping: The bottom of Lake Como will be mapped to help build a better understanding of coastal lakes' storage capacity for flood planning purposes. The research will be published in the journal Middle States Geographer.

    Students: Thomas Candiloro
    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Geoffrey Fouad, Department of History & Anthropology

    Selective Feeding Habits of Atlantic Sturgeon: The team will research the feeding habits of endangered Atlantic sturgeon in coastal waters near the Rockaways in New York City, a known hot spot for the fish.

    Students: Marissa DeTorre
    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Keith Dunton, Department of Biology

    Superstorm Sandy Interactive Video Game: A team of two undergraduate computer science and software engineering students and eight local high school students will engage emergency responders, the coastal community, professional developers and others to design a game that simulates search and rescue missions in the aftermath of a national disaster.

    Students: Luke Tomkus and Michael Anatasio
    Faculty/Staff: Professor Jodee Vallone, Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering

    The Marine Science & Policy Initiative

    treet core

    Assessing Climate Impacts on Maritime Tree Species Using Dendrochronology: Continuing research begun in the fall of 2016, the team will collect tree core samples from Jersey Shore maritime forests and analyze their ring patterns, which can serve as indicators of rising atmospheric CO2, annual climate and major storm events.

    Students: Jeff Dudek, Kelsey Connelly and Matthew Francis
    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Pedram Daneshgar, Department of Biology

    Assessing Coastal Lakes in Monmouth County: Participants will conduct water quality monitoring, sediment sampling, hydrographic surveys (depth and debris mapping) and other research at sites including Lake Como, Lake Takanassee, Franklin Lake, Wesley Lake and Sunset Lake.

    Students: Erin Conlon and Daniel Gerdon
    Faculty/Staff: UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels

    Assessment and Inventory of New Jersey Coastal Fisheries: The team will analyze New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection trawl survey data for elasmobranch species (skates, rays, sharks, etc.) for the development of GIS map products and conduct sampling in coastal waters to inventory species in the area.

    Students: Gina Badlowski and Jarius Bradley
    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Keith Dunton, Department of Biology

    Evaluating Essential Finfish Habitat and Movements within the Leased New York Wind Energy Area (Faculty Enrichment Grant): Fish species in the federally designated offshore wind energy lease area outside of Lower New York Bay will be tagged to gather information on both recreational and commercial species of concern in the area.

    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Keith Dunton, Department of Biology

    Exploring the Factors that Affect Juvenile Tree Growth and Survival in a Maritime Forest (Faculty Enrichment Grant): A series of greenhouse and field experiments will provide insight into how juvenile trees respond to environmental stresses that occur in coastal ecosystems.

    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Pedram Daneshgar, Department of Biology

    Hydrology Research Publication (Faculty Mini-Grant): A faculty mini-grant will fund the publication of research on a GIS tool being developed to predict stream flows in watersheds in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.

    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Geoffrey Fouad, Department of History & Anthropology

    Locally Based Mathematical Modeling (Faculty Enrichment Grant): The grant will facilitate the development of modules for MA 115 (Precalculus Modelling in the Biological Sciences) that apply modeling techniques to research questions related to local water bodies.

    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Joseph Coyle, Department of Mathematics

    Monmouth/Ocean Coastal Community Database: Two graduate assistantships will be funded to create a database that includes a wealth of information on the economy, health, history, education, environment and more in Jersey Shore communities.

    Students: Christopher McKenna and Zahra Yaramadi
    Faculty/Staff: Dr. Susan Forquer Gupta, Department of Marketing & International Business

    These opportunities have been made possible through the generous support of Santander Bank and many other corporate and private donors. If you would like to make a tax-deductible gift to the Urban Coast Institute, please use our Give a Gift Now contribution form.


    UCI in the Classroom: Scouting Offshore Wind Areas

    April 25, 2017

    The winds of change have arrived in the Mid-Atlantic, and Monmouth University School of Science Assistant Professor Keith Dunton is teaching students to analyze them with a cutting-edge technology developed under the guidance of the UCI.

    portal class excercise

    The pending introduction of offshore wind farms in areas from New York through Virginia has heightened the importance of regional ocean planning as a means for mitigating potential conflicts between turbines, ecosystems and traditional human uses like fishing and shipping. With a library of over 3,000 interactive maps depicting human activities and natural processes taking place at sea, the free and publicly accessible Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal ( has emerged as the region's most effective tool for spotting such problems before they happen.

    Dunton challenged his BIO 442 (Marine Resources & Conservation) students to think like a wind developer and evaluate the feasibility of building turbines in five areas five hypothetical areas off the coasts of Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The project kicked off in March with a Portal tutorial by the UCI's Karl Vilacoba, who serves as the Portal team's communications lead. Over the next few weeks, student teams pored over the site's data and cataloged the economic, environmental and safety ramifications for building turbines at the various sites. On April 24, the teams presented their conclusions, including a data-supported recommendation for which site appeared to be the best-suited for wind energy.

    "This project provided a good illustration of how decisions by both businesses and public sector permitting agencies will be made in the future," Dunton said. "Even with minimal experience using the Portal, the class found it easy to identify hundreds of conflicts based on a trove of scientific data."

    In the fall, Monmouth University will offer GIS Applications in Marine Science & Policy (GO 298), a new course that demonstrates how to use the Portal to make a wide range of ocean management decisions. The course is available to Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy majors and those with minors in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Sustainability or related subjects.

    The UCI is the project lead among a group of partners developing the Portal under the direction of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, a partnership of the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. Last year, the Portal served as a key information source for a historic first-ever Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan produced by a consortium of representatives from the states, federal agencies, tribal entities and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.


    Journal Publishes Environmental DNA Research

    April 18, 2017


    A new study authored by Rockefeller University for the journal PLOS ONE reports on the use of DNA testing in New York waters to record a spring fish migration for the first time. The Monmouth University School of Science and Urban Coast Institute are partnering with RU on a broad research project that is collecting data on the presence of marine life in New York-New Jersey coastal water bodies through environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling.

    Click here to read an article in the (U.K.) Daily Mail quoting UCI Director Tony MacDonald about the research or here for a press release summarizing the study.

    Photos & Video: The UCI Spring Film Series

    UCI spring 2017 films

    April 17, 2017

    The UCI extends its thanks to the hundreds of participants and many great co-hosts who helped make our Spring Film Series a success! Enjoy our photos and videos from the three events below.

    A Plastic Ocean, March 30


    Ocean Frontiers III, April 6

    Panel Video


    Les Saisons (Seasons), April 13


    Have an idea for a future UCI film event? Let us know at


    Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Foundation Grant to Support UCI Vessel Activities

    March 29, 2017

    The Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Foundation (FDF) has awarded the UCI a $75,000 grant that will support safe operation of UCI research vessels and provide students in Monmouth University's Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy Program with new opportunities for field-based research and experiential learning.

    Urban Coast Institute Marine Scientist, Jim Nickels takes UCI students R/V Seahawk to survey the depth of the ocean around New York CityThe funds will be used to support marine field research and cruises in connection with academic courses, independent study and faculty and student research projects. Students will be given experience with state-of-the-art technology and research methods while assuring vessel readiness and safe operations to support their work.

    "The Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the UCI at critical points over the years to enable us to initiate programs in water quality testing along the Jersey Shore and increase understanding of water quality and flood warning systems, and to train students on the use of remotely operated underwater vehicles and other marine technology," said UCI Director Tony MacDonald.  "This support will provide students with a truly transformational learning experience, and further advance the UCI's mission to develop the best available science to support healthy and productive coastal ecosystems and a sustainable communities."

    The University currently maintains two vessels and is looking to expand its capacity. The vessels provide research platforms for the use of a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) purchased with previous FDF funding, as well as side-scan sonar, water quality monitoring and testing, trawling, plankton tows, deployment of water current meters among other activities.

    UCI Marine Scientist Jim Nickels specifically developed a course -- Field Research Methods in Marine Science - to train students in field methods using this equipment.  The vessels also provide direct support for a number of other courses including Oceanography, Biological Oceanography, Ecosystems Analysis, Marine Biology and Marine Archeology.

    For more information on the UCI's vessels, equipment and field activities, click here.


    UCI's MacDonald Joins Team Researching How Chemical Cues Influence Marine Life Habitat Selection on Coral Reefs in Belize

    March 21, 2017

    What makes fish feel at home around healthy coral reefs and avoid degraded ones? Urban Coast Institute Director Tony MacDonald has joined a research team dedicated to understanding the chemical cues that influence how fishes, corals and other organisms select a reef habitat.

    fish and coralsThe project is being led by the University of Delaware's Danielle Dixson with the support of a $1 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Additional collaborators include Valerie Paul, a natural products chemist and lead scientist at the Smithsonian Marine Station and director of the Carrie Bow Cay field station in Belize; and Jay Odell, Mid-Atlantic marine program director at The Nature Conservancy in Virginia.

    Previous research by Dixson demonstrated that fish can tell the difference between healthy and degraded reefs, and that degraded reefs produce a chemical cue that repels fishes and corals.

    The researchers will conduct surveys during high recruitment periods at the Smithsonian Institution's Carrie Bow Cay research station in Belize and record the composition of the benthic communities (coral, algae, sand), as well as what fish and other reef creatures - and their predators - recruit to these communities. The data will provide a picture of what is different on high recruitment reefs and low recruitment reefs. Armed with this information, the researchers will perform chemical tests to determine the source of positive or negative cues.

    MacDonald and Odell will focus on how the chemical cues data could potentially be incorporated in digital mapping tools that will help inform reef conservation management decisions and ocean planning. They will work with the researchers to determine how their work may be transferred to other regions, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region. The UCI is currently leading the development of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (, a free, state-of-the-art mapping and information site focused on ocean areas from New York through Virginia. Odell serves as the technical lead on the Portal project, and was recognized by the UCI with a Regional Champion of the Ocean award in 2015.

    "This is an exciting opportunity to work with a team of innovative scientists on research that could impact coral preservation around the world," MacDonald said. "The data gathered through this project will be used to develop more effective marine management and ocean planning strategies."

    Research at the Carrie Bow Cay facility will take place beginning this summer. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2019.


    Learn to Use Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal in New Monmouth U. Course

    March 21, 2017

    Monmouth University students – learn to use the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal to make ocean management decisions in this new fall course! The UCI is proud to serve as the project lead among a great team of partner organizations developing this rapidly growing and influential resource. Try it yourself at

    Portal course flyer

    UCI Director Tony MacDonald Statement on JOCI Ocean Action Agenda

    March 7, 2017

    Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) Director Tony MacDonald issued the following statement on the release of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative's (JOCI) Ocean Action Agenda. The report was developed with input from the UCI and JOCI Leadership Council members Monmouth University President Emeritus Vice Admiral (ret.) Paul Gaffney, UCI Ocean Policy Fellow, and former UCI Advisory Committee Member Mrs. Lillian Borrone.

    "Administrations may change but the ocean will continue to play a critical role in regulating weather, supporting productive fisheries and other natural resources. As recognized in the JOCI Ocean Action Agenda, investment in our coast and oceans will also sustain a growing economy ranging from ports and trade to offshore wind energy to travel and tourism. It is encouraging to see the consensus report and call-to-action from a bipartisan group of nationally respected leaders. JOCI Co-Chair Gov. Christine Todd Whitman was joined by JOCI member Dr. Donald Boesch at Monmouth University in December for the 2016 Future of the Ocean Symposium, where they made similar recommendations and were honored as National and Regional Ocean Champions.

    The Ocean Action Agenda sets out concrete actions that will strengthen regional collaboration among states and federal agencies in the Mid-Atlantic, including continued support for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal that has been a major focus of the UCI's work over the past four years. The report expresses strong support for basing ocean management and policy decisions on the best available science. The UCI shares that commitment and looks forward to working with the Trump Administration and Congress, and our local and regional partner to support implementation of the Ocean Action Agenda.

    In addition to Gov. Whitman and Dr. Boesch, the JOCI Leadership Council includes three other members who have been recognized by the UCI with our annual Ocean Champions award: The Hon. Leon Panetta, Dr. Robert Gagosian and Mrs. Lillian Borrone."


    Apply Now for UCI Student-Faculty Summer Research Funding

    March 6, 2017

    The Urban Coast Institute is now accepting proposals for student-faculty research projects through its Marine Science and Policy Initiative and Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Summer Research Program.

    oysters on shell

    Funding is available to support activities by faculty and students from any school or department at Monmouth University, and interdisciplinary projects are encouraged. Projects must further one or more of the Core Elements of the Monmouth University Strategic Plan, as well as the mission and goals of the UCI.

    There are currently three types of funding opportunities available:

    Summer Research Grants for research projects (i) proposed by students with the support of a faculty mentor; and (ii) proposed by a faculty member that enables students to conduct the research and provide other project support.

    Faculty Enrichment Grants to support MU and/or MU faculty collaboration for enhancement of existing curriculum, new curriculum development, research and scholarship, and team-teaching opportunities.

    Mini-Grants available to faculty and students for conference fees, symposia, guest speaker honoraria, equipment and supplies to supplement or develop course curricula or course-related activities, and other needs to be determined on a case-by-case-basis.

    Applications can be submitted online by April 17 through the MyMU Portal. Click here for more information about these opportunities and to submit an application.

    Free UCI Spring Film Series: A Plastic Ocean, Ocean Frontiers III, Les Saisons

    March 3, 2017

    The Urban Coast Institute invites the public to enjoy its free on-campus Spring Film Series, featuring three documentaries and panel events exploring nature and issues impacting coastal ecosystems. All events are free and will be held in the Pozycki Hall Auditorium.

    The UCI Spring Film Series will kick off on March 30 at 6 p.m., when UCI partners with Clean Ocean Action to present A Plastic Ocean, an acclaimed film that is raising awareness about the consequences of society's global disposable lifestyle. The film will be followed by a discussion with Bayshore Recycling Vice President of Operations Gary Sondermeyer, who will provide an important and interesting perspective on controlling plastic waste and marine debris.

    The April 6 film Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy tells the story of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regional ocean plans and chronicles efforts to plan for a healthy, safe, sustainable future. At the film's conclusion, UCI Director Tony MacDonald will moderate an expert panel focused on the historic new Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan, which the UCI played a key role in developing. The film screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception at 6 p.m. The UCI will co-sponsor a second showing on April 22 at 7 p.m. at the Ship Bottom Volunteer Firehouse.

    On April 13 at 4:30 p.m., the UCI Film Series concludes with a showing of Les Saisons (Seasons), a French documentary that explores the evolution of European forests and wildlife with exceptional high-definition footage. The film will be introduced by Rockefeller University Professor Jesse Ausubel, who served as a science advisor to the film's directors.

    See below for registration instructions and further information on each film. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, email Karl Vilacoba at

    A Plastic Ocean

    Thursday, March 30, 6 p.m.

    A Plastic Ocean

    Movie Trailer:

    Register & More Info: SOLD OUT

    Description: In A Plastic Ocean, an international team of adventurers, researchers, and ocean ambassadors go on a mission around the globe to uncover the shocking truth about what is truly lurking beneath the surface of our seemingly pristine Ocean. The result will astound viewers-just as it did our adventurers-who captured never-before-seen images of marine life, plastic pollution, and its ultimate consequences for human health. During its four-year production period, A Plastic Ocean was filmed in 20 locations around the world in beautiful and chilling detail to document the global effects of plastic pollution-and introduce workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better.

    Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy

    Thursday, April 6, Reception 6 p.m. | Film 6:30 | Panel Q&A 7:30 p.m.

    Ocean Frontiers III

    Movie Trailer:

    Register & More Info:

    Description: Ocean Frontiers III is a truly unique and hopeful ocean film that explores the intersection of national security, marine commerce and conservation. Savor rare underwater footage of stunning marine life along the coast from Virginia to Maine and hear from a range of people who are leading the way to a sustainable and thriving ocean. Participate in the post-film conversation about the new Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action plan and get your questions answered by an expert panel that includes Tim Dillingham, Executive Director, American Littoral Society; Tom Fote, legislative chair for the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and NJ State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs; Kevin Hassell, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; Tony MacDonald, Director, Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (moderator); and others TBD. This event is hosted by the Urban Coast Institute with the American Littoral Society, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, Surfrider Foundation - Jersey Shore Chapter, The Nature Conservancy - New Jersey Chapter and Green Fire Productions.

    Les Saisons (Seasons)

    Thursday, April 13, 4:30 p.m.


    Movie Trailer:

    Register & More Info  

    Description: After traveling the world alongside migrating birds and diving the oceans in the acclaimed nature documentaries Winged Migrations and Oceans, Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud return to the lush green forests that emerged across Europe following the last Ice Age. Winter had gone on for 80,000 years when, in a short period of time the ice retreated, the landscape metamorphosed, the cycle of seasons was established and the beasts occupied their new kingdom. Les Saisons, with its exceptional footage of animals in the wild, is the awe-inspiring and thought-provoking tale of the long shared history that binds humankind with the natural world. The film will be introduced by Rockefeller University Professor Jesse Ausubel, who served as a science advisor to Les Saisons' directors.


    Read the UCI 2016 Annual Report2017 annual report cover

    March 1, 2017

    Take a look back at the eventful year that was in the Urban Coast Institute’s 2016 Annual Report. Learn about our innovative student-faculty research activities, coastal resilience initiatives, educational events, ocean exploration and planning work, and so much more.

    Click here to read the report in digital flipbook format or download a PDF version (6 MB) here.

    Read older items in the UCI newsletter