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Month: August 2018

2018 Summer Meeting

2018 Summer Meeting –
Coastal Erosion Field Tour

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Friday Field Tour

Coastal Erosion

August 10, 2018

Wakefield, Rhode Island

SWCS Members & Government Staff $35

Non-SWCS Members $50

The Soil & Water Conservation Society’s (SWCS) Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) is hosting an annual Summer Meeting for SWCS members and the public at the South Kingstown Land Trust Barn on Friday, August 10 in Rhode Island.  Rhode Island government staff will discuss the BeachSAMP, followed by a Field Tour to coastal erosion sites along the South Kingstown Town Beach, lunch, and a SWCS SNEC membership meeting.


Teresa Crean, Community planner and coastal management extension specialist with the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.  Teresa will present  Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan and Coastal Resiliency Tools.  Teresa joined CRC/Sea Grant in 2008 and is currently facilitating municipal-scale projects in Rhode Island that address coastal adaptation to climate change and sea level rise. This work involves evaluating the results of mapping exercises to clearly communicate challenges and opportunities to municipal stakeholders while collaboratively considering policies and projects that may increase resiliency in the face of potential impacts from coastal hazards and storm events. Teresa has also has worked on renewable energy planning, marine spatial planning and coastal community planning, addressing public access and working waterfront issues. All of her work employs a research and planning process that integrates the best available science with open input and involvement from a broad range of stakeholders, decision makers and the public. Teresa also has worked for non-profit regional planning commissions and for planning/design firms in the private sector. She earned a Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, a B.S. in Environmental Policy/Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan and is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  Teresa’s e-mail address is

Samantha Apgar, is a UConn PhD Student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and will present “Tidal marsh bird nesting adaptations and consequences as sea levels rise”.  Samantha’s current research focuses on the ways in which birds that nest on the ground in tidal marshes are adapted to nest flooding. She is interested in how these existing traits make each species more or less at risk of extinction due to sea level rise. Her work focuses on the nest structure, egg structure, and chick and adult behavior of four avian tidal marsh specialist species (the Saltmarsh Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Willet, and Clapper Rail).  For a copy of Samantha’s SWCS SNEC presentation, please contact her at  Her presentation is too large to download here.

Dr. Bryan Oakley is from Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) will speak on “Shoreline Change in the Matunuck area”.  Bryan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Earth Science Department at Eastern Connecticut State University and a part-time researcher in the Department of Geosciences, at the University of Rhode Island. He has broad experience in marine surveying, habitat mapping, coastal and glacial geology. My interests are wide-ranging, spanning the Quaternary geology of New England.  Dr. Oakley can be reached at and you may CLICK_HERE to see his presentation.

Janet Freedman, a Coastal Geologist at RI Coastal Resources Management Council will lead the “Shoreline change field tour-a look at adaptation approaches and more” at coastal sites along the town beach (approximately 2 miles)! Janet Freedman is a Coastal Geologist at the RI Coastal Resources Management Council. She is responsible for developing and implementing policy related to coastal hazards, shoreline changes, and sea level rise. She coordinates with federal, state, local and non-government partners on issues dealing with erosion control technologies, the beneficial re-use of dredged materials, climate change impacts and habitat restoration. Janet is a member of the Education and Outreach Committee of the RI Flood Mitigation Association, the RI State Hazard Mitigation Committee, the Providence Harbor Commission, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council Coastal Hazards Committee, and the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems Board of Directors. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island Department of Geosciences where she studied late Pleistocene climate change and its present day implications.  Janet can be reached at

Debbie Surabian will give an overview of the Coastal Zone Soil Survey (CZSS)”.  Debbie is the State Soil Scientist for Connecticut and Rhode Island with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. She has over 20 years of experience with USDA NRCS as MLRA 12-6 Soil Survey Office Leader serving 8 northeast states and Soil Conservationist serving Florida. She is experienced with describing, classifying, mapping, and interpreting terrestrial, anthropogenic, and subaqueous soils, using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and identifying soil characteristics of natural and disturbed soils.  Debbie’s e-mail address is

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