Tiffany Smythe is the Director of Harbor Restoration and Policy at the New York Harbor Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports the marine and environmental work of the New York Harbor School, a public maritime high school in New York City. Her job involves everything from grant-writing and fundraising to managing environmental permitting processes to organizing scientific monitoring and educational field trips for students. She has recently returned to New York City after nearly eight years at the University of Rhode Island, where she earned a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Marine Affairs and worked for several years as a coastal manager at the URI Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant. While working on her dissertation, Tiffany was a member of the team that developed the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan, one of the nation’s first marine spatial plans to guide the siting of offshore renewable energy and other future uses. As part of the SAMP team, Tiffany worked extensively with commercial and recreational fishermen, recreational boaters, commercial mariners, and other stakeholders in developing this plan.
Tiffany’s academic research interests include ocean space use conflicts, collaborative planning processes, and integrated management approaches such as marine spatial planning and ecosystem-based management. Her doctoral dissertation employed mental models and social network analytical methods to examine the capacity of coastal management practitioners in Rhode Island and New York to develop coastal ecosystem-based management plans. In addition to her Master’s and Ph.D. in Marine Affairs, Tiffany has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in History and education from Columbia University. Prior to her work in coastal management, she worked for 10 years as a professional teacher, outdoor educator, and mariner aboard sail training ships, and has a 100-ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license and New York State teacher certification.