Assessments of risk and resilience must draw on research on the past and present dynamics of these systems, their possible future changes, and strategies for making these individual systems and the larger coupled system more resilient, which together constitute the “grand challenges” addressed by C2R2 trainees. Below are some of the topics that trainees are researching within these “grand challenges.”
1. Past & Present Dynamics of Coastal Hazards, Vulnerabilities and Risk:
- How is socio-ecological resilience informed by differences in human land use across tropical forest regions in the Southern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico?
- How do different species of fish react to temperature variability, in both distribution and overall biomass; how fishers respond to changes in the availability of different species; and can we re-engineer management systems to allow fishers to be more responsive?
- How have wetlands changed across the world since the Last Glacial Maximum?
- What is the sedimentary signature of a tropical cyclone overwash deposit in south Florida and how can we best reconstruct paleo-storm frequency on the New Jersey Coast over the past millennium?
2. Future Changes to Coastal Hazards, Vulnerability, and Risks:
- What impact will sea level rise play on marshes along the Raritan River under the different sea level rise scenarios? How can we use this information to provide projections for trajectories for these marshes, identify areas for conservation/restoration, quantify future damages from floods and hurricanes with marsh gain/loss, and provide policy recommendations for regional action?
- Can the geologic record of paleo-storm activity contribute to our understanding and projections of future flood risk from hurricanes? Can the statistical relationship between tide gauge records and paleo-storm records be used to reconstruct synthetic tide gauge records of extreme water levels for the Common Era?
3. Strategies for Resilient Coastal Systems:
- What is the relationship between structural features of residential buildings, specifically the foundation-type, and the damage sustained from wind and flood hazards? What factors do homeowners consider when elevating their homes?
- Can floating homes be designed to resist the velocity waves and high winds of the coast, while remaining cost effective? What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a floating home versus living in an elevated home?
- How does soil and plant ecology affects coastal dune stability?
- How effective are current restoration efforts of coastal wetlands, and their ability to protect structures from ocean inundation?
- How can municipalities with limited resources deal with chronic erosion of their beaches and dunes to reestablish the protection these geomorphic features provide?
- How much New Brunswick residents are willing to pay (WTP) for pervious pavers and does this WTP correlates with any demographic or identity characteristics?
4. Knowledge to Increase Resilience
- How can environmental stewardship organizations be better understood through typological analysis? What insight can we gain into the characteristics, capacities, and interactions of stewards and groups of stewards that work to affect the greater NYC environment, including important coastal resources?