Dennis Nixon is one of the three founders of the International Marina Institute, which has evolved into the education and training arm of the Association of Marina Industries. For over 30 years, he has worked in educational programs and certification for professionals in the marine industry around the world. 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 an avid sailor on vessels of all sizes, and races year-round in New England and the Caribbean. He has visited marinas on all of the six continents that have them. He also holds a Coast Guard Master’s License and PADI open water diver certification. He splits his time between homes in Jamestown, Rhode Island, and St. Thomas, USVI.
Dennis retired in 2020 after a 44-year career as a Professor, Associate Dean, and Sea Grant Director at the University of Rhode Island. Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, he was also the Legal Advisor and Risk Manager for the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System, and provided advice to all of the US academic research vessel fleet for over 30 years. He has lectured on marine law topics in 27 states and 26 countries on 6 continents. He is the author of over 50 articles and the casebook Marine and Coastal Law, first published in 1994, released in a second edition in 2010, and a third edition released in 2022. He is also the author of Legal Issues in the Operation of Marinas and Boatyards, published by AMI in 2020.
Professor Nixon earned his Bachelor’s degree in history at Xavier University, his Juris Doctorate 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.