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Doctoral students Anne Smiley, Helena Garcia, and Lauren Grimley and UNC undergraduate Jacqueline Ruiz were awarded a grant from NC Sea Grant’s Coastal Resilience Team Competition for their project: Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Flood Resilience Planning in New Bern, NC. This project integrates ecosystem mapping (marine sciences), compound flood modeling (geology/hydrology), community plans (city and regional planning/public policy), and a household survey (sociology, demography, economics) to investigate the impacts of community plans and climate change on the natural landscape and the supply of flood hazard mitigating ecosystem services. This work primarily focuses on extreme floods; however, the team will also assess the impacts of chronic and sunny-day flooding in New Bern using sensors designed by a team that combines electrical and mechanical engineering with city and regional planning  (see below).

The project serves as a basis for a living lab in New Bern that links University researchers with local communities. The students are collaborating with New Bern city officials to identify ways this project can generate data and tools to reach the City’s resilience goals and maximize community benefit. More generally New Bern is a vanguard site for our convergence project in that we are doing in-depth work that integrates all the disciplinary hubs.

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