UNCW’s Coastal Community Resiliency Seminar Series Examines Threat of Sea Level Rise

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Renowned scholars Orrin Pilkey and Gilbert M. Gaul will lead a discussion on the threat of sea level rise for coastal North Carolina during the fourth installment of UNCW’s Coastal Community Resiliency Seminar Series. “The Coming Storm: Rising Water, Reckless Development, and the Future of the Coasts” will be held Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Marine Science Auditorium.

Pilkey is the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and co-author of Sea Level Rise: A Slow Tsunami on America’s Shores. Gaul is a former reporter for The Washington Post, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, and author of Geography of Risk.

“My primary hope is that the seminars will lead to new partnerships between UNCW and community members around topics that are critical to us all,” said Graduate School Dean Chris Finelli, one of the faculty members spearheading the project. “Coastal community resiliency is about how we respond as a community to our challenges, whether those are hurricanes, lack of affordable housing or mental health. Each of those issues are related and need to be addressed through collaborative efforts.”

The seminars provide a view of “resiliency” through different lenses, added Finelli.

“The word resiliency has different meanings if you are a coastal engineer or a mental health professional or an educator,” he said. “In the fall, we looked at resiliency from coastal policy, engineering/construction and educational lenses. This spring we’re looking at development, changing demographics, community health and sustainability.”

Launched in 2019, the Coastal Community Resiliency Seminar Series highlights ongoing research, scholarship and creative activity related to hurricanes and their impact on coastal communities. UNCW faculty and staff from various disciplines including physics, creative writing, film studies, and environmental sciences collaborate to bring a diverse panel of scholars to discuss challenges and possible solutions. Community engagement and building partnerships to increase community and regional impact are key components of UNCW’s Strategic Plan.

The seminar is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Click here to register.

Upcoming Seminars:

Feb. 18, 2020; 6:30 p.m.
Hannah S. Block Community Arts Center
“Changing Demography of North Carolina’s Coastal Communities”
Keynote speaker: James Johnson, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Director, Urban Investment Strategies Center
This event is co-sponsored by the Cape Fear Council of Governments
March 19, 2020; 6:30 p.m.
Hannah S. Block Community Arts Center
“Paving a Path to Resiliency: What Every Community Member Needs to Know”
A panel discussion hosted by Anka Roberto, assistant professor in the UNCW School of Nursing, and Ashley Wells, assistant dean for community engagement and impact in UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services
April 23, 2020; 6:30 p.m.
Location TBA
An evening with Carl Safina, ecologist, author, MacArthur Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow and director of the Safina Center, a nonprofit based on Long Island, N.Y. The center advances the case for life on Earth by fusing scientific understanding, emotional connection and a moral call to action. It creates original blend of science, art and literature in the form of books and articles, scientific research, photography, films, sound-art and spoken words.
-- Venita Jenkins