Coastal Society Honors Sea Grant’s Schiavinato

Katie Mosher, North Carolina Sea Grant,, 919-515-9069
Judy Tucker, The Coastal Society,, 757-565-0999

Posted Friday, November 7, 2014

Lisa Schiavinato, Center co-director

Lisa Schiavinato

The Coastal Society has presented its Distinguished Service Award to Lisa Schiavinato, North Carolina Sea Grant’s, law, policy and community development specialist.

The announcement came this week as part of the society’s joint meeting with Restore America’s Estuaries, held in Washington, D.C. Among others honored by the society was Brian Smith of North Carolina State University.

Schiavinato is completing a term as society president, a role she also held in 2011-12. Co-director of the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center, she has been part of The Coastal Society’s leadership since 2006, including terms on the board of directors and as conference chair.

The award cites her “unwavering commitment and dedication” to the society. “Lisa is not afraid to step up to fill a gap in volunteer leadership — and to make the tough decisions needed to keep the organization moving forward,” notes executive director Judy Tucker.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Tom Bigford, president-elect of the society agrees. “Lisa has always been quick to solve problems, to make a difference. We’ll miss her leadership in TCS but look forward to her coastal contributions for years to come.”

Jack Thigpen, extension director for North Carolina Sea Grant, notes Schiavinato’s interdisciplinary focus has been a good fit with the society. “She brings back to North Carolina Sea Grant varied perspectives and important contacts regarding critical issues for our ecosystems and communities.”

Smith was awarded the society’s President’s Award for “exceptional service to the Coastal Society and commitment to the coastal leadership development and to professional development of coastal management professionals at all career levels.” He is a senior partnership developer for industry alliances at NC State. Previously, he worked with the Coastal Services Center in Charleston, S.C., part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NC Coastal Law Center Welcomes 2014 Fellow, Begins New Internship Program

Rhett Register, 919-515-1092,
Lisa Schiavinato, 919-515-1895,

Posted Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

Rory Fleming is the newest Coastal Law Fellow.

Rory Fleming is the newest Research Law Fellow.

The North Carolina Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center has a new environmental law fellow and has started a new undergraduate environmental policy internship program.

“These programs give students interested in a career in policy some valuable on-the-job training,” says Lisa Schiavinato, Center co-director. “It allows them to see if this is something they want to pursue and gives them the local, practitioner perspective on issues in the coastal zone.”

Rory Fleming recently joined the Center as the Research Law Fellow. The program gives law students experience in environmental law and policy, with a coastal and marine focus.

Born on Staten Island, N.Y., and raised outside of Charlotte, N.C., Fleming holds undergraduate degrees in English and economics from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. Now in his third and final year at the University of North Carolina School of Law, he credits Schiavinato’s environmental ocean and coastal law course with sparking his interest in the topic.

“I realized that coastal issues really are the crux of the values debates we see in environmental work,” Fleming says, describing the friction between the rights of private individuals and government that is often highlighted by coastal law and policy. “That tension and learning about its legal mechanics is what drew me in.”

As a fellow, Fleming compiles legislative updates, edits and revises the Legal Tides newsletter, and researches visual mapping tools used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other groups to chart the effects of current and future climate change.

The Center also has introduced an environmental policy internship for undergraduate students. Navneet Atwal and Rachel Henson, both at NC State University, began this semester.

Rachel Henson

Navneet Atwal (left) and Rachel Henson (right) are the Center's first environmental policy interns.

Navneet Atwal (left) and Rachel Henson (right) are the Center’s first environmental policy interns.

“I can see how the science research is actually used by policy makers,” says Atwal, a biochemistry major. “I hope to gain knowledge about how the two fields complement each other.” Currently, Atwal researches issues impacting rural communities in North Carolina.

Henson, a senior studying policy and administration in the College of Natural Resources, says the internship will move her toward her goal of working as an environmental consultant. “I have always wanted to work in the coastal region, focusing on the issues the North Carolina coast is facing,” she says. Henson helps build the Center’s social media platform and researches grant funding.

To learn more about these opportunities, visit and click on Fellowships & Internships in the left menu. Or contact Lisa Schiavinato, Center co-director, at 919-515-1895,

Coastal Law Center Names New Co-Director

Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,
Lisa Schiavinato, 919-515-1895,

Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Victor Flatt is the new co-director of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center.

Victor Flatt

Victor Flatt will lead the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center, along with Lisa Schiavinato. Photo courtesy UNC School of Law.

“Victor’s environ­mental law and policy research is on the cutting edge. His reputation as an innovative thinker, mover and shaker will propel the center forward in exciting new ways,” says co-director Lisa Schiavinato, who also is coastal law, policy and community development specialist for North Carolina Sea Grant.

“I look forward to working with Victor and exploring new research and partnership opportunities to provide vital law and policy information to North Carolina’s coastal communities,” she adds.

Flatt succeeds Joe Kalo, who founded the center in 2005 with Walter Clark, former Sea Grant coastal law and policy specialist. Kalo now is a senior fellow at the center.

The center is a partnership of Sea Grant, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Law, and the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning. It addresses contemporary coastal issues in North Carolina.

Flatt is pleased to join the Center. “Under the able leadership of Lisa Schiavinato and Professor Joe Kalo, the center has been an important research center for information about the North Carolina coast, one of our state’s most important assets. I am hoping to continue that good work, as well as bring more research, collaborations and joint projects to the center to face the unprecedented challenge to our coast of climate change,” he says.

Flatt also directs the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation, and Resources — or CLEAR — based at the UNC School of Law. He holds a juris doctor from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

Offshore Energy Meeting Set for March

Lisa Schiavinato, 919/515-1895,

Posted Jan. 23, 2014

The Offshore Energy in the Southeast 2014 Conference is set for March 24 to 25 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Burney Center.

“We are pleased to have federal, state and local officials, along with attorneys, engineers and scientists, to highlight topics on offshore wind leases, natural gas reserves, energy markets, safety issues and other emerging technologies,” notes Lisa Schiavinato, North Carolina Sea Grant’s law, policy and community development specialist.

She is also co-director of the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center, which will host the meeting. Co-sponsors also include UNCW and the Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Law.

Renewable and fossil fuel energy development, and resulting effects on the economy and environment, also will be discussed. Attendees can expect presentations to cover recent legislation and case law, as well as other policy issues that affect coastal communities and property owners.

For questions, contact Schiavinato at 919-515-1895 or