SAGE creates a network of U.S., Caribbean and European engineers, geoscientists, ecologists, social scientists, planners and policymakers. Together we develop and promote a robust interdisciplinary analytic framework for the wide range of possible infrastructure responses to coastal hazards across a range, or gradient, of urban to rural areas. This allows policy-makers to have clearer selection criteria for location-appropriate and climate-adapted sustainable coastal infrastructure policy.
Project title: Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment (SAGE): Reconceptualizing the Role of Infrastructure in Resilience
NSF Research Collaboration Network (RCN): Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES)
Project period: January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018
Who? Our new network of U.S., Caribbean and European engineers, geoscientists, ecologists, social scientists, planners and policymakers is designed to build connections among diverse disciplines and improve the flow of information among leading researchers on these topics. The project generates greater participation among U.S. students and researchers in, and improve student and professional access to, training in coastal resilient infrastructure design, planning and policy-making.
What? The RCN’s products are annual, intensive three- to four- day workshops, we also produce webinars, a training module synthesizing our findings, a survey of educational pathways in resilient infrastructure, journal publications and white-papers for policymakers translating our research findings into accessible language. All of these activities promote a diverse and comprehensive research network that fosters the development of transformative, policy-relevant research initiatives.
Why? Caribbean communities have experience and expertise in planning for and responding to coastal hazards, while the Northeast has infrastructural and research capacity on this topic. Recent storm events in the U.S. Northeast demonstrate that there is a pressing need for coordinated research into the resilience of coastal infrastructures to current hazards and the evolving effects of climate change. Infrastructure here includes physical structures, ecological services, and the social practices that influence the impact of hazards such as hurricanes and coastal flooding.
How? We understand communities as existing and evolving within adaptive gradients, including by rural/ urban, social capacity, sub surface soils and coastal geography, and culture. To build our framework we address spill-over and equity effects of infrastructure decisions, evidence regarding the impacts of fast-onset disasters (e.g., hurricanes, tsunamis) to improve practices and policies for chronic, slow-onset phenomena (e.g. sea level rise), and tie the application of our theory to increasingly available indicators of climate change and local conditions.
YOU? Please read our blog or contribute to it, sign up for the mailing list (see below), send us your publications and reports for sharing, and check out our webinars either live or at the YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/
Upcoming SAGE Webinar
The Dutch ‘Room for the River’ Program: A Modern Approach for Managing High Water Levels in the Netherlands
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 12:00-1:00pm EDT
To connect, go to: https://nucoe.webex.com
Event number: 668812686
No Preregistration Required
Also Coming Up...
Reconceptualizing the Role of Infrastructure in Resilience
Join us on October 19 (1:00pm EDT) for the next webinar in a series of free webinars organized by SAGE (Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering).
Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment: Reconceptualizing the Role of Infrastructure in Resilience, presented by Melissa A. Kenney, Associate Research Professor in Environmental Decision Support Science, University of Maryland, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center.
Given the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, communities in the U.S. and Caribbean will need to rebuild their communities. The expansion and acceptance of climate-resilient infrastructure choices create the potential for integrated approaches to projects, including greener and non-structural methods along with traditional grey infrastructure. These complex and innovative hybrids can be designed to achieve valued social and ecological goals along with risk reduction, adding up to a transformative approach to infrastructure.
Because these are complex environments, communities, and solutions, we developed a framework called Adaptation Gradients. The Adaptation Gradients framework incorporates perspectives from multiple disciplines and multiple social values. It was developed using case studies in the Northeast U.S. and Caribbean regions and is presented to enable holistic consideration of innovative and transformative interventions. The Adaptation Gradients Framework are intended to support adaptation decisions that increase resilience given climate change; these gradients include: exposure reduction, institutional capacity, cost efficiency, ecological enhancement, adaptation over time, greenhouse gas reduction, participatory process, and equitable outcomes.