Dennis Nixon has served as the Associate Dean for Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island since August, 2009. Prior to that, he served for 8 years as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. He has been a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island for the past 36 years, teaching courses in the area of marine and coastal law.
A marine lawyer by training, he is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States and the Rhode Island Bar. He is the Secretary and General Counsel for the Point Club, a fishing vessel insurance cooperative he helped found over 20 years ago. He is one of the three founders of the International Marina Institute, which provides educational programs and certification for professionals in the marine industry. Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, he is also the legal advisor and risk manager for the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, and has been providing advice to all of the US academic research vessel fleet for the past 26 years. He has lectured on marine law topics in 27 states and 25 countries on 6 continents. He is the author of over 50 articles and the casebook Marine and Coastal Law, first published in 1994 and released in a second edition in 2010.
Professor Nixon earned his Bachelor's degree in history at Xavier University, his law degree at the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island, a Certificate on International Institutions at the University of Geneva, and a Certificate in Ocean Law from Harvard Law School.
Dennis began sailing in his teens on the Great Lakes, and was the Captain of his college sailing team. He has several thousand miles of offshore cruising experience, and has enjoyed racing his J24 and now J29 in the Newport, Rhode Island area.