The Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment


Honoring a Legacy

Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting established the Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment to honor the late Peter Lord’s outstanding contributions to environmental journalism.

Lord was the environment reporter at The Providence Journal for thirty years and served as Journalism Co-Director for Metcalf Institute since its founding in 1997 until his death in April 2012. He was widely respected as a teacher, mentor and standard-bearer for excellence in environmental journalism in Rhode Island and beyond.

Helping Regional Journalists Cover Locally Important Stories

Each of the seminars in this series is free and open to journalists covering southern New England. The daylong seminars are designed to increase news coverage of important environmental concerns facing Rhode Islanders by enhancing journalists’ understanding of the science behind the stories and introducing them to sources representing a wide variety of perspectives on each topic, including scientists and stakeholders from regulatory agencies, environmental advocates, community groups, and business interests. The seminars, which are all on the record, give reporters the tools they need to dig deeper, build strong contacts, ask the right questions and quickly turn the day’s discussions into compelling environmental stories for our region.

The Metcalf Institute seminars typically take place at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in the Coastal Institute building at 218 South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI 02882. Details on registration at the bottom of the page.


  • New England’s Aquaculture Industry
    September 30, 2015
    Coastal shellfish farming is a growing industry in southern New England, generating an estimated $40 million in annual revenue in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Experts will explore the environmental, economic, policy issues, and conflicts surrounding this growing industry.
  • How will Environmental Policy Decisions Fuel the New England Economy
    June 25, 2015
    As construction of wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island positions the Ocean State as a national leader in the creation of offshore energy, it renews discussions about opportunities, challenges, and threats posed by environmental change.  Experts will explore these issues at a public lecture and panel discussion at the Providence Journal.
  • Predicting and Responding to Extreme Weather Events
    September 20, 2013
    September 21 marks the 75th anniversary of the Hurricane of 1938, one of the most destructive storms to slam into the New England coast. The region has seen its share of extreme weather in recent years, primarily in the form of major storms that have caused extensive flooding and property damage. Learn more about hurricane forecasts, storm preparedness, emergency response, public health implications, and the effects of climate change on these weather events.
  • Making Sense of Beach Closures, Shell Fishing Bans, Water Advisories & More
    July 12, 2013
    With all the resources dedicated to water quality programs, many wonder, why is my beach still closed? This program will explore the state of the Narragansett Bay watershed, with a focus on the current and emerging threats to water quality and availability in Southern New England, as well as perspectives on how these threats affect the regional economy.
  • Innovations in Renewable Energy
    March 15, 2013
    Southern New England is poised to be a national leader in developing offshore wind energy, but what are the next steps in terms of process, improving security of the region’s overloaded power grids, and balancing environmental concerns with power needs and economic realities? Can waves, tides, and currents from the ocean help us meet our electricity needs?


In general, Peter Lord Seminars are open to professional journalists from throughout New England, although the seminars are occasionally open to the public. Participants are required to register for each seminar via an online registration form.

Past Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment have been supported fully or in part by The Providence Journal, The Rhode Island Foundation, The Providence Journal Fund and Henry and Jan Rines Fund at The Rhode Island Foundation, Rhode Island Sea Grant, and the URI Coastal Institute.

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