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NC Sea Grant Launches Student Team Competition on Resilience

For immediate release

Contact: John Fear,
or Sarah Spiegler,

North Carolina Sea Grant has launched the inaugural Coastal Resilience Team Competition. The program will provide up to $20,000 for student teams to conduct two-year projects that will lead to more resilient habitats and communities on the North Carolina coastal plain. Each team will include two to four members, including at least one graduate student, who will serve as the project lead, and at least one undergraduate, who will assist.

“This fellowship opportunity builds off the previous great work of graduate students who have focused on the impacts of sea level rise in North Carolina,” says Sarah Spiegler, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal resilience specialist. “It’s vital that we continue research that addresses how to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, and I look forward to a student-led team taking on this challenge.”

North Carolina Sea Grant strongly encourages proposals from teams that include students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and at Minority Serving Institutions, and/or students from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities.

Each team will conduct research that addresses one or more of these focus areas:

  • the impacts of higher groundwater levels on forest, agriculture, and community infrastructure;
  • how changing precipitation patterns impact salinity levels in estuarine systems;
  • the impact of higher temperatures on submerged aquatic vegetation communities in North Carolina;
  • how coastal communities can engage underserved populations to better prepare them for future disasters;
  • how aquaculture practices can buffer the industry against disasters;
  • the economic impact of climate change on N.C. coastal communities, including the effects on different sectors and populations; and
  • additional research topics that address how coastal North Carolina can become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Proposals should explain how the proposed teams’ research and related outreach will benefit underserved and underrepresented communities.

The winning team will present their findings to North Carolina Sea Grant’s advisory board. Sea Grant’s science communicators also will work with the winners to publicize the team’s research through an array of products and media, as appropriate.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on October 29, 2021. For more information, access the full Request for Proposals.

Read more from Sarah Spiegler on coastal resilience.