Project Details


The nation's coasts are home to much of the American population, they play an important role in the US economy, and they support many valuable ecosystems. About four million Americans currently live within one meter above the high tide line, and 23 million live within six meters. In many parts of the country, sea-level rise between 1960 and 2010 (about 8 cm in the global mean) has already led to a two- to five-fold increase in the rate of 'nuisance' flooding, and rising seas are making extreme floods more likely. Further amplifying coastal flood risk, intense hurricanes may become more frequent in a warming world; while frequent heat, humidity and precipitation extremes provide additional stresses to societies, economies, and ecosystems. Yet traditional, disciplinary programs are poorly configured to train the workforce needed to assess coastal climate risk and to develop and deploy integrated strategies for increasing coastal climate resilience. This National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) award to Rutgers University will prepare the workforce that will build coastal resilience in the face of climate risks, by training individuals at the MS and PhD levels who conduct research that integrates all the elements of coastal systems and that communicate effectively with coastal stakeholders in defining research problems, conducting research, and applying research to address real-world resilience challenges. The project anticipates training approximately one hundred (100) MS and PhD students, including twenty (20) funded trainees, from the Earth system sciences, social sciences, and engineering.In preparation for developing and addressing transdisciplinary research questions related to coastal climate risk and resilience, as well as applying the knowledge gleaned through this research to developing resilient coastal systems, trainees will learn to: (1) serve as disciplinary experts in interdisciplinary teams; (2) formulate and investigate research questions and concept/systems models that integrate natural science, social science and engineering perspectives; (3) incorporate stakeholder needs into the construction of research questions and models and engage stakeholders in knowledge co-production; and (4) communicate with stakeholders about coastal climate risk and resilience. Over their first two years, trainees will take four core courses: (1) a methods and perspectives course; (2) a course on communicating science to decision-makers; (3) a summer field course, and (4) a studio workshop that brings trainees together with coastal stakeholders to address real decision problems. Faculty will work with trainees to incorporate transdisciplinary research into their theses and to track and reflect on their experiences through the use of mental mapping techniques. Trainees will also engage in additional professional development activities. The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.
Effective start/end date9/15/168/31/21


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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