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Fellows Program Announces Partnership with University of Rhode Island for Coastal Resources Master’s Fellowship

New York, April 29, 2015

The Fellows Program, an initiative of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), together with the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island (URI) are excited to announce a new partnership to offer one master’s student per year in the Coastal Resources department a fellowship covering a master’s degree at URI with field research in the Dominican Republic. This fellowship is slated to begin in the Fall of 2015.

The program offers a 2-year, 12-months per year fellowship during which the fellow earns a Master of Marine Affairs degree and conducts research for a thesis project in the Dominican Republic. URI provides the fellow with tuition, a 20-hour-per-week paid research position, and health care. GFDD provides the fellow with round trip airfare to the Dominican Republic as well as housing, transportation, and assistance in coordinating research while in the country.

The first recipient to be awarded this prestigious fellowship is Melvin Alvarez-Ortez, originally from Honduras and a graduate of Skidmore College with a double major in Environmental Studies and Spanish. He will be researching sustainability and development in the Dominican Republic in order to be able to help underrepresented communities take part in the decision-making process when it comes to creating new legislation regarding marine ecosystems and coastal management. His goals are not only to protect the oceans and natural environment, but also improve the livelihoods of a country’s native people.

Students interested in applying to the fellowship for the 2016 admittance year should contact the URI Department of Marine Affairs.

The mission of the Department of Marine Affairs is to provide leadership in the management of marine and coastal environments through distinction in teaching, research, and outreach programs. As a department, they offer bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees that focus on governance issues for both coastal and oceanic systems.

The Fellows Program provides opportunities for M.S., M.A. and Ph.D. candidates interested in conducting high-level research in the Dominican Republic on issues related to sustainable development. The final result of the research is a comprehensive report, which includes empirical data. Fellows undertake research in coordination with the GFDD and FUNGLODE staff, as well as national academic advisors and their own university professors. Fellows that carry out exemplary research work have the opportunity to present their findings before the United Nations community on behalf of the GFDD and FUNGLODE.