UMass Boston

Current Projects

UHI is collaborating with a variety of stakeholders and partners to complete the following projects. For more information on any of these projects, please contact us at 617-287-5570.

Stone Living Lab

The Stone Living Lab is a partnership working to advance coastal resiliency to climate change through research, education, outreach, and policy. The majority of the Lab’s work is conducted in Boston Harbor and surrounding communities and focuses on exploring both the natural and socio-economic impacts of nature-based approaches to addressing the impacts of climate change. Staff from UHI are working with the Lab to coordinate research and communications activities and provide overall management for the Lab. The Institute’s work is funded by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation.

National Working Waterfront Network (NWWN)

A founding member of the NWWN, UHI is leading several initiatives to advance the resilience of working waterfronts in partnership with Network members. UHI staff are developing and piloting an applied research internship program for graduate students, hosting the NWWN’s 2022 conference in Boston, MA, conducting research and developing tools and resources for working waterfront communities and practitioners, and preparing strategies for the Network’s future activities. With funding from the Walton Foundation, specific emphasis for much of this project is on promoting the resilience of sustainable commercial fishing communities.

UHI Webinar Series

UHI hosts a webinar series (3 - 4 per year) to share new, groundbreaking research being conducted by UMass Boston professors/staff and other professionals from around the world. The webinar topics include: climate change, marine debris, fisheries, municipal planning, waterfront issues, community outreach, and more. The 60-minute webinars are free and geared towards professionals in the ocean science field, yet open to all. To be informed of upcoming webinars, please sign up for our newsletter.

Regional Collaboration to Address Marine Debris in the Gulf of Maine

The Gulf of Maine Association (GOMA) is partnering with UHI, Surfrider Foundation, Center for Coastal Studies, Blue Ocean Society, NH Coastal Program, and Huntsman Marine Science Centre to create an international collaborative approach to addressing the environmental problem of plastic and other marine debris in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Partners will work together to implement gulf-wide and targeted actions to reduce and prevent the introduction of marine debris into the Gulf of Maine in support of the 2019 Gulf of Maine Marine Debris Action Plan. Funding is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More details can be found here.

Ipswich Harbor and Waterways Plan

The Town of Ipswich, led by the Harbor Committee and the Office of the Harbormaster, with support from the Urban Harbors Institute (UHI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is embarking on the development of the Ipswich Harbor and Waterways Plan. This plan will serve as a guide for public and private decision making on the future of the harbor and waterfront. The plan sets forth a vision for the harbor that maintains its historic character while seeking to improve water-dependent commercial and recreational uses, increase access for the public, and protect the natural resources. More information on the plan can be found here.

Developing a Blueprint for a Seafood Incubator and Transdisciplinary Research Programs in the UMass System

The seafood system in Massachusetts is a significant part of the Commonwealth’s economy, contributing billions of dollars in sales, income, and value-added impacts. In 2017, UHI led a study to understand the issues and opportunities within the local seafood system, resulting in the “Building the MA Seafood System” report, funded by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council. The 2017 report identified the multi-disciplinary nature of the seafood system and its challenges.

Building on that project, UHI joined with UMass Amherst (PI, Dr. Adrian Jordaan) and others to develop this new project which is entitled “Developing a Blueprint for a Seafood Incubator and Transdisciplinary Research Programs in the UMass System”. The purpose of this project is to create partnerships between seafood system stakeholders and researchers in the UMass system in order to address specific challenges. If you’re interested in learning more about this project, contact Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli, Research Associate with the UMass Gloucester Marine Station. Funding for this project is being provided by the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council.

Cool Science

UHI is part of a large team that is implementing a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded 4-year project entitled Cool Science. Cool Science is a free public art competition held each fall for K-12 artists to improve public understanding of the science behind extreme weather. Over the last seven years, Cool Science piloted a small-scale program in Massachusetts. The program was honored by the White House as an exemplary project to improve climate literacy across a community.

Because of its proven popularity and effective engagement with all ages, Cool Science added partners in the nation’s heartland in Kansas and Missouri. Now, buses with children’s winning artwork will ride in four regions (Merrimack Valley, Worcester, Kansas City, and Topeka). During each year of this 3-year program, roughly hundreds of youth, hundreds of adult mentors, and tens-of-thousands of bus riders will have the chance to learn about the science of extreme weather. More details can be found on

Other Cool Science team members include: the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston’s School for the Environment; UMass Lowell’s College of Education and Art and Design Department; the Massachusetts College of Art and Design; the Transportation Center at the University of Kansas; the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, University of Kansas; Kansas State University; and Goodman Research Group, Inc.

Urban Harbors Institute

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125