Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Welcome Message

Our institute has much to celebrate and much on which to reflect. Allow us to share a few proud highlights. Early last year, the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security detailed its Program Director to the White House. Mr. Deerin Babb-Brott now serves as the Director of the National Ocean Council. It is most fitting; many of our objectives align. The National Ocean Council is addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean and our coasts and as President Obama has stated, “The ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes provide jobs, food, energy resources, ecological services, recreation, and tourism opportunities, and play critical roles in our Nation’s transportation, economy, and trade, as well as the global mobility of our Armed Forces and the maintenance of international peace and security.” More about the National Ocean Council.

In another personnel change, Steve Crosby took a leave-of-absence as dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies to chair the Massachusetts Gaming Commission under Governor Deval Patrick. We welcome Ira A. Jackson, a Collaborative Institute advisor, as our new dean. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mr. Jackson throughout 2012 in his capacity as advisor (see our full Council of Advisors) and his vision is very much in line with our hopes for the future of the Institute. Mr. Jackson was a 2011 Distinguished Scholar at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship and, from 2006-2010, served as the dean of Claremont Graduate University's Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. He is also the former director of the Center for Business and Government at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The McCormack Graduate School and the Collaborative Institute are lucky to have his involvement.

In May 2012 we held the first Global Conference on Oceans, Climate and Security (GC ’12). For three days, high-level scientists, military and civilian policymakers, nonprofit advocates, and industry representatives were joined by more than 225 attendees in a dialogue and outcomes-driven meeting to address the impacts of climate-related ocean changes on human, national and international security. The inaugural “Energy and Environmental Security Award” was presented to the Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the United States Navy; and guest speakers included Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and UMass Boston Provost Winston Langley. Keynotes at the conference were delivered by Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Jane Lubchenco, and The Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters.

Bridging the fields of public policy, natural and social science, and planning for human and national security, the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security’s goals remain consistent: to

  • Work with key influencers and decision makers to strengthen the understanding of the human and national security implications of changing oceans and climates
  • Inform policy decisions through the application of sound scientific research and technology, demonstrated through place-based pilot projects.

We look forward to continuing to work with our advisors, steering committee, and collaborators to expand our projects and initiatives. Through diligent efforts and dedicated resources, we can realize a mutual vision of communicating the critical interdependencies between oceans, climate, and security.

You can share your thoughts about the Collaborative Institute’s goals and strategies, and ideas for collaboration by emailing

Sincerely yours,

Robyn Hannigan, Dean, School for the Environment

Ira A. Jackson, Dean, John W. McCormack Graduate School for Policy and Global Studies

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Download the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and Security's brochure as PDF (Adobe Acrobat required) Read More 

Read Our White Paper

"Acting to Address the Ocean-Related Impacts of Climate Change on Human and National Security, with Recommendations for Priority Actions ..."
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Global Conference on Oceans, Climate & Security

Representatives from sixteen countries, seventeen U.S. states, and many regional and local residents came together in Boston at GC ‘12. Read More 

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