Exploring Links Among Ecological, Social and Personal Resilience (2022-2023)

Background

As coastal hazards increase in intensity and frequency, the need for coastal resilience – the ability to withstand or adjust to stressors – is increasing faster than ever. Fostering coastal resilience must incorporate strategies to support ecological, social and personal resilience. 

Ecological resilience can be supported by maximizing services such as flood control, while social resilience will include diverse community sectors working together to equitably distribute hazard burdens and benefits. To support personal resilience, individuals must feel connected to others in their community, fostering a sense of relatedness, hope and agency. 

Environmental literacy aligns well with these aims, as it includes an understanding of socioecological systems, skills for engaging in environmental solutions, and dispositions necessary for motivating action, at both individual and community scales. Community-based restoration is an ideal context for embedding environmental literacy in efforts that will improve ecological resilience, bring communities together and provide individual agency to strengthen personal resilience.

Project Description

This project team will facilitate interaction across social, ecological and educational disciplines and create a template for community-based restoration projects in increasing coastal resiliency and restoring biodiversity.

The three main goals are to synthesize the factors of coastal resilience and create a multidisciplinary understanding of the concept; create a template for community-based restoration and environmental literacy projects in North Carolina; and connect the Community Science Initiative at the Duke Marine Lab with the expertise within the Nicholas School of the Environment and DukeRestore.

The project team will conduct collaborative research across disciplines to create a publication-ready conceptual paper on the topic. Team members will focus on creating a common language around the multidimensional aspects of coastal resilience to ensure a subject matter fluency across disciplines. 

The team will also collaborate with community partners to develop a restoration and environmental literacy template. Team members will reach out to interested restoration and education community collaborators in eastern North Carolina to form a restoration and environmental literacy working group, and organize a three-day workshop retreat to bring together academics and community partners with multidisciplinary expertise and interest in restoration and resilience.

Anticipated Outputs

Literature review and conceptual paper for publication; template for community-based restoration and resilience projects; workshop for collaborators

Student Opportunities

Ideally, this project team will include 2-4 graduate students and 2-4 undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds including psychology, natural sciences, social sciences, education, public health, environmental sciences, biological sciences and community engagement. Graduate students from the Nicholas School of the Environment are the most likely fit for the team.

Students will gain experience in interdisciplinary research related to coastal and community resilience. Participants will learn to research and synthesize natural and social science literature and contribute to peer-reviewed publications. Graduate students will have the opportunity to lead subteams and improve their leadership skills. Students involved in the winter 2023 working group (January 2023) at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort will gain experience working within a community-based collaborative, authentically engaging with local partners and creating an applied template for restoration and resilience. Student travel opportunities are to be determined.

One graduate student will be recruited to work in Summer 2022 (10 weeks, 40 hours per week, completed by August 6) and will gain experience with literature synthesis and project management .

Timing

Summer 2022 – Spring 2023

  • Summer 2022 (optional): Selected graduate student will conduct initial literature review; develop syllabus for seminar; create online data/communication system
  • Fall 2022: Read and synthesize articles from literature review; develop outline of conceptual paper
  • Spring 2023: Organize three-day workshop with community partners; write conceptual paper for publication; create a template for community-based restoration and resilience projects

Crediting

Academic credit available for fall and spring semesters; summer funding available

 

Image: Sunrise at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC, by Jared Lazarus

Sunrise.

Team Leaders

  • Elizabeth DeMattia, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • Carter Smith, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Elizabeth Albright, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Xavier Basurto Guillermo, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • Brian McAdoo, Nicholas School of the Environment-Earth and Climate Sciences
  • Brian Silliman, Nicholas School of the Environment-Marine Science and Conservation
  • Rebecca Vidra, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Rachel Bissesi, North Carolina Coastal Federation
  • Kathryn Stevenson, NCSU