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LSU CEE Professor Studies Climate Change, Coastal Migration

LSU CEE Professor Studies Climate Change, Coastal Migration

BATON ROUGE, La. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Sabarethinam Kameshwar recently received nearly $10,000 of a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to collaborate on a project with the University of Miami to study sea level rise and how it affects coastal migration.

“The main purpose of this planning grant is to develop a bigger research proposal for a $15 million NSF grant that will focus on sea level rise in rural and urban systems,” Kameshwar said. “The reality is these systems are separate but interdependent. How will this synergistic relationship change once climate change and sea level rise force people to move elsewhere? The idea right now is to come up with the research questions and write the full proposal based on that.”

According to Kameshwar, rural and urban systems are interdependent, which means if one system migrates due to sea level rise, the other system will be greatly impacted. His research will study communities from Texas to Florida, though he said the impact could be greatest in Louisiana.

“We are losing land and have seen so many strong hurricanes in the last three years, such as Ida and Laura,” Kameshwar said. “So, people are feeling it and making decisions on whether or not to leave or stay with adaptations, but what are the problems they face as they do this? Where do they need help the most?”

Kameshwar said these are multi-disciplinary questions no engineer can answer alone. The project will need social scientists and economists involved as well. He would also like to engage artists to talk to communities and convey their messages because he wants to communicate their findings in all possible ways.

“We are thinking outside of the box and developing ideas in the hopes we get the full proposal,” he said.

The key part of the bigger proposal he and University of Miami are working on is community engagement along with education.

“Anything that we are proposing should not just be an academic exercise,” he said. “People should actually see value in it and adopt it.”

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