SURA Coastal & Environmental Research Workshop

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of Jerry Draayer, President of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), and Chris D’Elia, chair of the SURA Coastal and Environmental Research Committee, we are pleased to invite you to participate in a workshop to be held on October 29-30, 2014 at SURA Headquarters, 1201 New York Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The subject of this two-day workshop is Understanding and Modeling Risk and Resilience in Complex Coastal Systems. A document describing the workshop goals, intended outcomes and proposed agenda is attached. The purpose of the workshop is to engage a diverse and forward-looking group of scholars and stakeholders interested in incorporating processes across the natural, engineering and social sciences. While much progress has been made with respect to modeling inundation across built and natural systems, social science assessments (e.g., social vulnerabilities) are largely performed after the process-based modeling is complete. We believe that establishing a capability to temporally integrate social science modeling with process modeling will dramatically improve the resilience of coastal communities likely to be impacted by inundation and other threats related to future changes in climate, river discharge and human activity. A corollary benefit will be the establishment of metrics by which social indices can be evaluated. This capability is clearly lacking at present.

We are especially interested in bringing together a group of creative, “out of the box” thinkers with records of cross-disciplinary collaborations that have contributed to seminal interdisciplinary advances. The SURA workshop will not be a forum for showcasing or promoting recent or ongoing research. Instead, we envision providing an incubator that we hope will lead to the eventual integration of social science into process-based models. We urge workshop participants to leave their personal research agenda at home and prepare to share some of their most treasured, albeit untested, ideas, and to listen carefully to the ideas shared by other participants and to team with new-found colleagues to evolve this new paradigm.

We expect the number of participants to be limited to about 40 in order to ensure collegial dialogues. There is no registration cost and SURA will be providing one dinner, two breakfasts and two lunches at no cost. At this stage, however, there are no funds to defray travel costs for workshop participants. We are seeking additional support from multiple sources and if our efforts bear fruit, we may be able to provide some partial assistance with expenses. Please stay tuned.

Please respond to this email at your earliest convenience to indicate your interest in attending this workshop (this is not a commitment). We will be sending more information soon, and want to be sure and include you. We expect to finalize our list of participants as well as agenda by mid-September. We hope to see you in Washington in October.

Dr. L. Don Wright, Director of Coastal Research
C. Reid Nichols, Coastal Research Programs Manager