Profile | Bonnie Epstein

Peter Yeadon





Bonnie Epstein received her undergraduate degree in Geology/Biology from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Geological Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.  Her interests lie at the junction of science, art and education.  She founded and works as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA), a hands-on, interactive museum in Rhode Island designed to inspire curiosity and encourage experimentation in older children and adults.  She also teaches design-solution based geology courses at the Rhode Island School of Design.





Environmental Disasters and Design Solutions

Wintersessions 2009 – 2016, Fall 2017 & 2018, Spring 2017

This Liberal Arts course has continuously evolved from its primarily geological roots to include a significant combination of innovation and policy.  Graduate and undergraduate students in this course examine causes and effects of disasters including earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, floods, landslides and climate change.  The coursework involves both analyzing contemporary case studies and designing a workable solution to one particular problem as a final project.  Student projects have included furniture that can double as watercraft in case of flooding, tsunami safe-houses, a “fitbit” style watch that also serves as a locator in case of landslide – and will prioritize wearers by their heart rates, a sculptural system of fencing designed to keep plastics out of the oceans, and a memorial/groundwater management system in Bhopal, India among others.


Water Pollution | Water Emergency

Wintersession 2019, 2018

A new course in RSID’s burgeoning science offerings, students in Water Pollution learn the basic biology, chemistry and physics of water contamination and its effects on human life.  Graduate and undergraduate students also examine emerging techniques for detecting and mitigating water pollution, as well as brainstorming additional design solutions.  The class additionally reviews case studies and visits local water and sewage treatment plants.


Building a STEAM Museum: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love What STEAM Was, Not What It Stood For.


An invited paper published in the August 2017 issue of SciArt magazine.


Hands-On Combination of Science, Art and Literacy Workshop


Bonnie Epstein of the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA) led a hands-on “sound effects” workshop to demonstrate how to use STEAM to enhance both story-telling and story-creation for k-12 students. The workshop was titled “Reading Power!” and was held by United Way Afterschool Leadership Circle and Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services on April 4, 2018.


Global Water Crisis

Spring, 2019

This class will examine the causes and results of drought, salt-water contamination of wells and streams, shrinking aquifers and other issues related to the shifting of potable water sources on the planet.  In a similar format to Environmental Disasters, the coursework for this class will involve both analyzing contemporary case studies and designing a workable solution to one particular problem as a final project.




Contact Bonnie Epstein