Hurricane Sandy was a fearsome reminder that coastal communities are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events and environmental variability, and that vulnerability is only expected to increase with climate change. Brown University scientists Heather Leslie and Leila Sievanen, members of an interdisciplinary research team focused on human-environment interactions in coastal regions, will discuss these challenges this month at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.
Leslie and Sievanen will participate in a symposium titled, Building Resilience of Coastal Communities to Environmental and Institutional Shocks, on Sunday, February 17 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Hynes Convention Center.
More than 40 percent of the world's population lives in coastal areas. With 53 percent of the US population living in coastal counties according to the most recent census, and that percentage expected to grow to 63 percent by 2020, the United States is a coastal nation.
"These communities are economic engines and also highly valued for their cultural heritage and social vitality," Leslie said. "Understanding how people living in coastal communities cope with weather related disturbances, as well as other disruptions, like changes in government regulations and economic cycles, can help us to design more proactive and comprehensive policies to support coastal communities' resilience in the future."
A case study in the Gulf of California
Leslie, a professor of environmental studies and biology, leads an international team of scientists exploring these themes in the Gulf of California in northwest Mexico. By pairing information on the social and ecological dimensions of the Gulf's small-scale fisheries, Leslie and her colleagues are identifying linkages between people and the environment. Their research explores how climate-related shocks and other disruptions influence both coa
|Contact: Kevin Stacey|