ENVS 6611 660
MES Concentration course in Resilience & Adaptation
According to a 2019 paper by Scott A. Kulp and Benjamin H. Strauss, published in Nature Communications, 230 million people worldwide occupy land that is less than 1 meter above current high tide. By 2100, land now home to 200 million people could sit permanently below the high tide line as a result of rising sea levels from heat-trapping pollution from human activities. Add to these coastal challenges the inherent flood risks in riverine and urban settings. How do we prepare and adapt? The class will explore the challenge of floodplain management in a changing climate through lectures, discussions, talks by guest experts, readings and multimedia. Our class will look at the United States National Flood Insurance Program, examine its goals, critique its 50-year plus history and debate reforms to the program at the same time the U.S. Congress is considering long overdo reauthorization of the program. We will look at resiliency efforts that states and local governments are pursuing and the new and evolving city- and state-level position of Chief Resiliency Officer. In class we will cover hazard mitigation planning, land use, hard and natural infrastructure, regulations, the Community Rating System and other issues pertaining to flooding and climate change, including social justice and public health issues. The class will have a field trip to the New Jersey coast to explore high tide flooding and adaptation measures being taken. Throughout the course, material will be introduced to aid the student in taking the Certified Floodplain Manager exam administered by the Association of State Floodplain Managers. This optional test, should the student pass, will provide credentialing that is well recognized throughout the United States and sought by government and the private sectors. While the course is heavily weighted in the United States, students are encouraged to introduce case studies, experiences, comparisons and ultimately consider focusing on countries, regions and locales that are outside the United States for the students Course Project.
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