National Estuarine Research Reserve Science Collaborative

National Estuarine Research Reserve Science Collaborative

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative puts Research Reserve-based science to work for coastal communities coping with the impacts of land use change, stormwater, nonpoint source pollution, and habitat degradation, all in the context of a changing climate. The program operates through a cooperative agreement between the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

We have a threefold approach to connecting science to decision making:


The Science Collaborative’s competitive grants program awards an average of $4 million annually to projects that incorporate collaboration and applied science to address a coastal management problem identified as a priority for a NERRS Reserve and a community that it serves.

Transfer of knowledge:

The Science Collaborative is committed to sharing the knowledge generated by the place-based research we fund. We customize traditional methods of sharing information in ways that make sense for the project at hand and those wanting to learn more about it.

Graduate education:

TIDES (Training for the Integration of Decision-Making and Ecosystem Science) provides the skills needed to effectively link science to coastal decision-making. Hosted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment at UNH, TIDES combines course work with a field-based internship at a Reserve.  The Science Collaborative supports two, fully funded TIDES assistantships each year.

Why this program?

Few coastal management problems are purely “environmental” in nature. They impact economies and businesses, infra­structure and property, human health and wellbeing. Science may be essential to addressing a problem, but when it does not account for the economic, regulatory, and social aspects of a problem, it often gets ignored.

For science to be applied to coastal management problems, the people who need to use the science must be involved in its generation. The projects we fund bring the intended users of the science into the research process so their perspective can inform problem definition, research design and implementation, and ultimate­ly, the practical application of project’s results to a particular problem. This is what we mean by “collaboration,” and it is our goal to use this process to ensure that the good science that happens in and around Reserves gets put to good use.

Science Collaborative Staff

Richard Langan, Director

Mimi Becker, TIDES Mentor

Kalle Matso, Research Review/Collaborative Processes

Dolores Jalbert Leonard, Science Translation and Communications

Justine Stadler, Competitive Funding

Cindy Tufts, Program Coordination and Administration

Dwight Trueblood, NOAA Program Officer


Richard Langan

  • Director, Coastal and Ocean Technology Programs
  • Affiliate Professor of Biological Sciences

Coastal and Ocean Technology Programs
Gregg Hall
35 Colovos Road
Durham, NH 03824