The contribution of human dynamics to coastal communities’ resilience

The National Academies of Sciences has established a $10 million grants program to fund projects that enhance the science and practice of coastal community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region. Rather than focus on infrastructure needs or the built environment, as many existing resilience-focused programs do, the new grants program will support the study of the human dynamics that influence a community’s ability to respond to adverse events.

 

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has joined with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to establish a $10 million grants program to fund projects that enhance the science and practice of coastal community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region. These projects will explore the interrelated health, social, environmental, and economic impacts of disasters and other environmental stressors and inform strategies to address these challenges in Gulf communities.

The NAS says that rather than focus on infrastructure needs or the built environment, as many existing resilience-focused programs do, the new grants program will support the study of the human dynamics — such as physical and mental health, social cohesiveness, and social and economic well-being — that influence a community’s ability to respond to adverse events. The program will also encourage the development of research-informed strategies and practices for strengthening community health and resilience.

“This program seeks to find effective, evidence-based approaches for strengthening community resilience in the Gulf region by bringing scientists and practitioners from diverse fields together with leaders in the community, public, and private sectors” said LeighAnne Olsen of the Gulf Research Program. “We’re excited to work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support this multidisciplinary, collaborative approach.”

“This program is intended to inspire high-quality research exploring resilience, human health, environmental conditions, and communitythroughout the Gulf Coast,”said Brian C. Quinn, assistant vice president, Research-Evaluation-Learning, RWJF. “We need more research that illuminatesconnections between community resilience and health, which is absolutely essential to building the evidence base for a ‘Culture of Health.’”

The GRP and RWJF will jointly develop the program and each will contribute $5 million. GRP will administer the grant competition and awards. For more information about this new program, visit www.nas.edu/gulf/grants and register to receive e-mail updates.     

 

The NAS notes that the Gulf Research Program, a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, was established in 2013 as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and seeks to improve understanding of the interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems of the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas. The GRP funds studies, projects, and other activities using three broad approaches: research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring. For more information, visit www.nas.edu/gulf.

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