The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has selected the University of Rhode Island (URI) to be one of two partners in its Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.
URI is already working on a number of research and policy projects related to coastal resiliency, said Tom Miller, director of administration at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography. Miller said this partnership is an opportunity to broaden the university's reputation with the federal government when it comes to its expertise on coastal and climate issues.
“So it gives us an opportunity to integrate with the great work the center is currently doing so that we can help advance those initiatives," said Miller.
Miller said URI will work on three projects, which focus on how to communicate risk, improve hurricane forecasting, and overcome barriers to prepare for climate hazards, including hurricanes and flooding. The second partner is Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.
With a growing recognition that climate change is a national security threat, DHS launched the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence in 2008 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center's lead research institution. The center is tasked to develop planning tools designed to improve the nation’s ability to protect people, properties, and the economy from coastal storms and other climate-related threats.
Miller said this partnership puts the university and the state in a strong position to expand the reach of innovative tools developed in Rhode Island and “bring those tools to broader coastal communities around the nation. It’s a good exposure on a number of fronts for us."
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