Rutgers Awarded $3 Million for Research on Coastal Climate Change Risk, Resilience

Sep 21, 2016

The National Science Foundation has awarded Rutgers University-New Brunswick $2,999,055 in federal funding to research the risks of climate change on coastal communities, and their resilience in the face of intense storms and sea level rise, U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) announced last week.

“As we approach the fourth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, it is absolutely critical that we do all we can to understand and respond to the real threat that climate change poses to the Jersey Shore and other low-lying communities throughout our state,” said Menendez. “This grant will help Rutgers develop cutting-edge methods to safeguard our families, fortify our coastal environment, and shelter our economy from the worst impacts of climate change.”

Booker added, “Given the urgent threat of climate change, federal investments like this are more important than ever in helping researchers find solutions and increase the resiliency of New Jersey’s coastline. This also marks an important step in ensuring Rutgers remains at the forefront of technology and innovation while immersing students deeper into critical STEM fields.”

Both legislators voiced their pride that a New Jersey institution is committed to serve as a leader in climate education and innovation.

Steven Sandberg, press secretary for Menendez, explained in a news release from the senator’s office that the NSF Research Traineeship award Rutgers received will prepare the workforce to build coastal resilience by training individuals at the master’s and doctoral degree levels who conduct research that integrates all elements of coastal systems. Effective communication with coastal stakeholders – to define research problems and apply that research to real-world resilience challenges – is a goal.

“The NRT Program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training,” Sandberg explained. “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.”

Sea level rise is already a grave concern in many parts of the country, the press release notes, and flood risks are further amplified by the threat of intense hurricanes that may become more frequent in a warming world. —J.K.-H.

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