Current and Ongoing Partnerships:

Salve Regina University

Cultural and Historic Preservation 

Annual CHP Lecture Series

Salve Regina’s CHP program established the Grills Lecture Series in Historic Preservation, a public lecture series that will complement the university’s annual conference on cultural and historic preservation. Prominent academics and professionals in historic preservation will be invited to campus to speak on relevant topics in the field.

Paul F. Miller, former chief curator for the Preservation Society of Newport, delivered the Grills Keynote Address in Historic Preservation at the 2019 conference, “Preservation and Memory.” Mr. Miller recently was conferred the Frederick C. Williamson Professional Leadership Award by the Rhode Island Preservation Society.

Annaquatucket and Daniel Drive Mill Sites Project

Annaquatucket Mill Ruins

Over a two-year period beginning in the spring semester 2018, Salve CHP students will complete National Register of Historic Places nominations for two 19th century textile mill sites – the Annaquatucket and Daniel Drive mills – in North Kingstown. The mills, built during the first half of the 1800s and now in ruins, have never been documented by historians, preservationists, or archaeologists.

Ochre Court Historic Landscape Research and Restoration

As the University approaches its 75th anniversary, Salve Regina and SNEC have partnered to focus their attention on Ochre Court’s distinctive landscape and the development of a plan for its rejuvenation.  The goal of the project is to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Salve Regina with a reinvigorated landscape of healthy horticultural specimens reflective of the spirit of its original design and the contemporary needs of the University. Ochre Court, home to the Office of Admissions, is the first stop for prospective students and their families and is one of Newport’s richest design legacies. 

The site’s landscape was designed by the Olmsted Brothers from 1891-1895, an interpretive combination of French symmetry softened by English-inspired masses of rhododendron, flowering shrubs and trees. Since its inception, the grounds have been intentionally adjusted to meet the needs of its private and public use. Plants have matured and been replaced with more contemporary selections, and the decorative ornamental urns and statuary have become a blending of original design and deeply meaningful symbolism of a Catholic university.

Ochre Court

Lucinda Brockway of Past Designs (Kennebunk, Maine) will be directing the project.  Ms. Brockway is an award-winning, nationally recognized expert in landscape preservation, planning and design.  She will guide CHP students as they research, design, and implement a restoration of the historical landscape design while allowing accommodation for its use as an educational facility and acknowledging the necessity for certain modern accommodations.  Students involved in this project will gain hands-on experience of all the phases of landscape restoration under the direction of a recognized expert in the field.

Grills Internships in Historic Preservation

Delaney Daly (center), ’20, Salve Regina CHP Major and Grills Intern with Mohamad Farzan (left), Founding Principal, Newport Architecture, LLC, and Liz Drayton (r), Patron Relations, Newport Performing Arts Center at the Opera House at the CHP Conference Organized Session, “150 Years of Adaptation in One of America’s Oldest Surviving Theater Buildings.

Six new paid internship programs for Salve’s CHP students, both during the school year and during the summer, have been established in partnership with preservation organizations in Rhode Island and New London County, Conn.  This partnership is ongoing and awards are made bi-annually.

Providence College

Environmental Conservation

Past Award Progress

The 12th Annual Rhode Island Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Conference was held at the North District of the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston Campus, in the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical & Forensic Sciences and the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences.  Featured was the poster presentation of Providence College undergraduate student Daniel Clark and his professor Dr. Elisabeth Arevalo.  Mr. Clark’s presentation, “Too Hot to Handle? How Changing Environmental Conditions Affect Mysid Populations” was the result of research done with Dr. Arevalo through a grant from the SNEC Foundation. 

Daniel Clark, Providence College, with his poster, “Too Hot to Handle? How Changing Environmental Conditions Affect Mysid Populations.”
Mr. Clark explains his project to a visiting student.

Special Proposal Awards

A request was approved to extend the project entitled Opossum shrimp genomics, adaptive capacity and climate change in RI, by Elisabeth Arévalo for a second year of support.  For the completion of this project Dr Arévalo proposes to look at two mysid species of the genus Americamysis, A. bahia and A. bigelowi, currently distributed along the coasts of Rhode Island. The main goal is to assess the effects of climate change on their geographical distribution and survivorship within RI waters.  Mysids, commonly known as opossum shrimp, represent an important group of filter feeder epibenthic marine and/or estuarine species that commonly serve as food source for commercially important fish and other larger crustacean species (Smith, L.M.; Whitehouse, S.; & Oviatt, C.A. 2010. Impacts of climate change on Narragansett Bay. Northeastern Naturalist, 17(1), 77-91.)

Sharon Grills Jackson, SNEC President and Dr Arévalo at award presentation.
Dr. Joseph A. DeGiorgis receives award from Sharon Grills Jackson.

A second request was approved for a proposal by Dr. Joseph A. DeGiorgis to photo-document the species of Narragansetts Bay, to study the structural features of these organisms, and to use phylogenetic approaches to identify and classify each species within the tree of life. In addition, this project will develop a website that contains our images and findings as a database that will be freely available to the worldwide community.  The proposed research incorporates both research students working in the DeGiorgis laboratory as well as students enrolled in a Providence College biology course titled “Biological Imaging” held each year in the fall semester.

Proposal Awards

The annual Request for Proposals at Providence College resulted in a group of excellent, scholastically vigorous research proposals.  The Foundation approved funding for the following projects:

Studies of the Invasive Clinging (and Stinging) Jellyfish of Southern New England, Dr. Joseph A. DeGiorgis

This proposal will begin a pilot project to study the jellyfish through genetic approaches and advanced techniques in photographic imaging and videography as well as light and electron microscopy.  The student/faculty team will sequence a number of individual genomes to look for genetic variations and to use both cameras and microscopes to photo-document scientific observations.  Genetic information may reveal the varieties of these jellyfish that might exist (virulent and nonvirulent forms). It may also identify what substance causes the sting (venom) and may lead to answers on how to best treat individuals who have been stung.

Placing Ecological Studies in a Larger Conservation Context: Identifying the Drivers and Extent of Southeastern New England Saltmarsh Loss, Patrick J. Ewanchuk, Ph. D.

This study will allow managers to develop appropriate restoration or conservation strategies by identifying the underlying drivers of marsh loss and the scale at which they are occurring.  In addition, mapping and assessing marsh vegetation health will help arm resource managers with key indicators for detection of potential marsh loss.  In addition to producing valuable information for managers, this project allows students to have real word experiences similar to those of a professional conservation biologist.

The Population Genetic Context for Rapid Adaptation to Industrial Pollution in Narragansett Bay, Jeffrey Markert, Ph. D.

This basic research will provide important context for understanding the consequences of a rapidly changing world.  We believe the remarkable ability of killifish to adapt to extreme circumstances is unusual – we hypothesize that it is the combined result of having both a large population size and a lucky handful of uniquely useful alleles.  Additionally, this project will provide an opportunity to recruit a new student researcher with an interest in a career in Environmental Biology.   This student will work with state-of-the art technology in a system that has a lot to teach us about the biological responses to environmental challenges.  They will also have an important developmental opportunity because they will be networking with a large team of federal and academic scientists.


Past Partnerships

Mitchell College – 2018

Marine and Environmental Science

Marine Invasive Species Research

SNEC funded this research project whose objectives are to examine geographical distribution of the non-native bryozoan, Tricellaria inopinata, in the Western North Atlantic, including Long Island Sound, determine the ability of the non-native Tricellaria to outcompete and replace native species and assess the extent of the invasion on marine infrastructure to facilitate management and eradication decisions.

Prof. Christine Ramsey and research assistant Peter Abate collecting samples on the Thames River.
Prof. Ramsey with sample plate exhibiting colony of bryozoan, Tricellaria inopinata.

Marsh Restoration – Dodge Paddock and Beal Preserve (Stonington, CT)

An undergraduate research assistant from Mitchell College was funded by SNEC to work with interested organizations to make a meaningful contribution to restoring 2.6 acres of marsh habitat that reside on the Preserve in Stonington, CT. The undergraduate research assistant was instrumental in the eradication of invasive areas and restoring habitats through an adaptive management plan.

Past Partnerships

Salve Regina University – 2018

Environmental Studies

Land Steward Intern and Restoration of Migratory Bird Stopover Habitat and Support for the Sweet Flag Bird Banding Station in Middletown

This partnership supported a student Land Steward Intern, working with Aquidneck Land Trust, and provided funds for the Restoration of Migratory Bird Stopover Habitat at the Sweet Flag Bird Banding Station in Middletown. This consisted of a one-time restoration of the habitat through the purchase and installation of native plants, support for habitat maintenance, and funding of the Bird Banding Station’s role as a test of new habitat efficacy.

Nat Crocker, center, leading group of ALT volunteers
Students assist in the planting of 100 native shrubs at Sweet Flag in April 2019.
Blackpoll Warbler: Breeds in northern boreal forest and winters in the Amazon. During stopovers in New England, at places like the Sweet Flag Bird Banding Station, Blackpoll Warblers attain 8 g of fat before beginning a nonstop overwater flight from New England to South America.

Cultural and Historic Preservation

3D Laser Scanning, Architectural Documentation, and Coastal Community Resiliency

A grant was awarded to enhance the CHP capabilities with the purchase of a 3D laser scanner. In the professional preservation field, the laser scanner is used to quickly create 3D digital models of interior architectural details and entire structure exteriors. The scanner accurately captures the architectural details, such as historic fireplace mantels, decorative trim, windows, paneling, and lighting fixtures.

Ochre Court Texture, 3D Model by Prof. Jon Marcoux using 3D laser scanning and aerial drone photogrammetry.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Unit – Replacement

Jon Marcoux, SRU CHP professor and Kiley Atkins, a rising sophomore, guide Stephen L. Jackson and Sharon G. Jackson in using the Ground Penetrating Radar in the Common Burying Ground in Newport on July 19, 2018.

A grant was provided to allow the CHP department to purchase a state-of-the-art GPR unit. This equipment is essential to maintain the CHP Program at a high professional level provide the students with the best experience during their time as CHP majors. Additionally, using the GPR prepares them to use similar equipment as graduate students or in their occupations in the Historical Preservation field.

Salve Regina University – 2017

Inaugural Program Award

On Tuesday, November 14, 2017 Salve Regina University’s program in Cultural and Historic Preservation (CHP) received a grant from the Foundation to fund student projects at two historic mill sites in Rhode Island, to launch an annual public lecture series, to allow purchase of equipment for the 3D Digital Preservation Documentation Program and to develop six new paid internships for Salve students over the next two years.

Salve Regina president Sr. Jane Gerety receives the grant from the directors of the Foundation. (l-r) Sr. Gerety, Prof. Jeroen Van Den Hurk, CHP Program, Stephen Leal Jackson, Ph.D., Sharon Grills Jackson, MAT and Bernard A. Jackvony, Esq., directors of the Foundation, and Prof Jon Marcoux, Chairman, CHP Program.
The Foundation directors and Sr. Gerrity
with some of the CHP students.

3D Digital Preservation Documentation Program

A grant was awarded to the Cultural and Historic Preservation program to expand their capabilities in 3D digital documentation of artifacts, architectural elements, and entire structures. Two computer workstations and two 3D Printers designed for 3D capture and editing were purchased. In addition, a small aerial drone that carries a high resolution digital camera was purchased to train students in the use of a technique known as “photogrammetry.”

HP Sprout 3D workstations and MakerBot 3D printers