In many parts of the United States flooding from storm surge and intense rainfall is occurring against a backdrop of rising seas, intrusion of salt water, and stronger and wetter storms. Sustaining health and prosperity as these dynamics play out requires anticipation of the long-term implications and design of effective mitigation strategies. Efforts must draw on integrated data regarding vulnerability to floods and wind, how specific events affect communities and habitats, effectiveness of programs that support recovery and resilience, and how behaviors and outcomes evolve over multiple years in impacted areas. This project will generate and analyze these data for eastern North Carolina, which will help project how the storms of the future will affect migration, economic well-being, health, and ecosystems of coastal regions more generally. The team combines scientists from engineering, earth and marine sciences, population sciences, and policy and planning, providing opportunities to train students at a range of levels in interdisciplinary science.

Transformational adaptation and mitigation strategies for hazards in coastal regions require a convergent approach, integrating methods, insights, and data from the social sciences, the natural sciences, and engineering and geosciences. The goals of this project are to 1) integrate conceptual frameworks, approaches, data, and analytical tools from four broad perspectives: engineering, environmental sciences, population sciences, and policy and planning, 2) develop fine-grained measures of risk and event-specific intensity of exposure by combining geophysical models with information extracted from satellite imagery 3) develop a data collection strategy that combines survey research with publicly available data and that embeds a multi-level approach and a multi-year time-horizon, and 4) develop approaches and associated tools to predict the impacts of floods and storms of the future on multiple facets of people and places. The results will inform the design of effective strategies for mitigating impacts of extreme events for places and people.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)
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Jacqueline Meszaros
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
United States
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