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Office of Research

Information for Researchers

Risk and Resilience in Coastal Communities

Although coastal communities have drawn upon nearshore ecosystems for subsistence, livelihood, and profit, these liminal spaces exist in environments of risk. How do coastal cultures manage and evaluate risk? Do the benefits of living in potentially dangerous regions offset the risks? To what extent can existing social, political, and economic structures mitigate risks? Does society share in the risks and benefits? How are the costs of catastrophic storms borne by coastal communities and the surrounding region? FSU researchers are currently working to model the potential impact (social and economic) of tropical storms on coastal development, tourism, and land values. Researchers are also developing coupled ocean-atmosphere and human-health models capable of forecasting impact zones of extreme events ranging from hurricanes to oil spills to hypoxia and sea level rise and the potential impacts on human health and livelihoods. Our concerns include the special vulnerability of local and indigenous populations to natural disasters (and those exacerbated by individual, social, and political decision making), climatic change and shifts in national and international markets. Moreover, FSU researchers are working to develop techniques to analyze recovery in the aftermath of such events.