PhD in Marine Affairs at University of Rhode Island

Opportunity Type: Other

Funded PhD Assistantship in coastal resilience to pursue research on hazard impacts modeling

Position description: The University of Rhode Island (URI) Dept. of Marine Affairs ( is seeking a PhD student to work with the Marine Affairs Coastal Resilience Lab, under the supervision of Prof. Austin Becker. The student will be part of an interdisciplinary team working on a project to develop new approaches to modeling societal consequences of hurricanes and other extreme natural disasters. The student’s research will include a refinement of social science data collection methodologies, the development of decision support tools for emergency response and long-term resilience planning, and the testing/validation of our approach. The work is informed and complemented by hydrodynamic storm models developed by our partners at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) and outreach activities coordinated with partners at the URI Coastal Resources Center and RI Sea Grant. This work uniquely combines aspects of urban planning, natural hazards, policy, and sustainability science.

The doctoral student will study under Prof. Austin Becker ( and receive interdisciplinary training in coastal planning and policy in the Department of Marine Affairs. This position has four years of funding provided by a RI Sea Grant Fellowship, Research and Teaching Assistantships, and grant-funded support. Start date is Fall 2020.

Qualifications: We seek a highly-motivated student with a master’s degree in environmental science, urban planning, or other related field, and a strong academic record who wishes to pursue interdisciplinary work. Exceptional candidates who do not hold a masters degree will be considered, but would apply to the Master of Marine Affairs program before transferring into the PhD program. The ideal candidate will have an affinity for social science and policy, with a focus on the urban coast and coastal infrastructure. Familiarity with statistical techniques, GIS, and programming is also desired, but not required at the outset.

To be considered, please apply to the Marine Affairs PhD program for Fall 2020 admission through the URI GradCAS system at Interested applicants should contact Prof. Becker in advance at

For more information, please contact Prof. Austin Becker at or see