URI scientist receives research award from National Park Service

August 28, 2001

Charles Roman, a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) located at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), will receive the 2000 Director's Award for Natural Resource Research from the National Park Service. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Florida in October.

Roman has been involved in scientific research on the ecology of coastal ecosystems on behalf of the National Park Service's coastal parks for more than 15 years. His research, an essential component in protecting coastal barrier national seashores, includes restoring salt marshes and small estuaries, monitoring changes in coastal ecosystem structure, function and process, evaluating relationships between sea level rise and salt marsh habitat structure, and evaluating freshwater wetland ecosystems.

"Dr. Roman has training courses and workshops for resource managers, park managers, and park interpreters to assist the National Park Service in preservation efforts," said Mary Foley, Chief Scientist for the National Park Service Northeast Region. "His innovative approaches to predicting and quantifying ecological restoration responses have benefited park resources. In addition, he has been instrumental in uniting the strengths of the academic community with the strengths of the resource management professionals. He is creative and has inspired much research interest in national parks among the scientific community."

"Our coastal national parks are very special places," said Roman, "and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to study these areas. It is especially rewarding to know that the National Park Service applies much of my research toward understanding, protecting, and restoring their coastal habitats.

"It is wonderful to receive this award," added Roman, "which points to my research accomplishments, but this award also recognizes the excellent work of my graduate students and many research colleagues at URI."

Roman earned a B.S. in resource development from the University of Rhode Island, an M.A. in botany from Connecticut College, and a Ph.D. in marine studies from the University of Delaware. He serves on editorial boards for several professional journals and on several executive committees, including the New England Estuarine Research Society. He is the author of more than sixty articles and reports pertaining to his research on coastal ecosystems and has coedited a book on estuaries. He lives in East Greenwich.

Roman heads up the USGS Coastal Field Station at URI which conducts scientific research on coastal National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges with the objective of applying research findings to the protection of natural resources and development of effective natural resource management policies. Since 1989, URI researchers and graduate students have collaborated with USGS and National Park Service scientists stationed at URI to conduct research at a number of sites, including Acadia National Park, Cape Cod, Fire Island and Assateague Island National Seashores, Gateway National Recreation Area, Rachel Carson, Sachuest Point and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuges, and many other Department of the Interior coastal units.

University of Rhode Island

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