Graduate Student | Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering | North Carolina State University
2023 – 2024 Global Change Research Fellow
Statement of purpose:
In the Bahamas, an archipelago of small islands that are surrounded by shallow waters, we experience flooding on a regular basis. High tidal flooding and storm water management led me to study water resources as an undergraduate and work as a drainage engineer. After a few years of studying flooding in low-lying coastal regions, I yearned to understand the complex effects of climate change on coastal resilience. Sea level rise and the increased frequency and intensity of storms pose challenges to our coastal communities, and thus coastal engineers must design structures and models with climate change adaptation in mind. My current research topic, where I am investigating the accuracy of storm surge predictions on hyperlocal sites with Dr. Casey Dietrich, will help coastal stakeholders with future flooding events.
Description of research:
Storm surges cause flooding at large scales when hurricanes make landfall. Models for coastal flooding often provide predictions at a large scale (i.e., entire state’s coast) thus making it difficult to make predictions for smaller sites (i.e., individual community). However, understanding flood risks is critical for resilience planning and structural assessments, especially as global climate change will increase storm surges from future storms. As part of the Coastal & Computational Hydraulics Team, I am working on optimizing a model for storm surge predictions at hyperlocal sites. This research involves investigating how storm surge is driven by sea level rise and storm intensities over specific sites. Overall, my goal will be to determine the worst-case scenario for vulnerable coastal infrastructure in Norfolk, VA, and Panama City, FL, which considers the SE CASC priority 3 for adaptation strategies.
Casey Dietrich (Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, NCSU)