Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute &
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography

Fall 2014 Seminar Series


Hans-Peter Plag
Migitgation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI), CCPO

Monday, September 8, 2014
3:30 PM
Conference Center, Innovation Resarch Building II
4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508


Climate change and sea level rise are increasingly impacting our lives. However, they are symptoms of a larger and more complex transition out of the Holocene, the safe operating space for humanity (as Rockström et al. describe the Holocene in a Nature publication in 2009) into the new geological epoch of the Post-Holocene. Challenged by this transition, we need to find ways to adapt to a future with a climate unknown to humanity and with potentially new, or modified, chemical, physical, and biological processes dominating the Earth's surface dynamics. There is an urgent need to develop the new field of adaptation science capable of producing the practice-relevant knowledge supporting society in finding a path to adaptation to a new climate, a modified spectrum of extreme events, and potentially much higher sea levels. As outlined by Moss et al. in a recent paper in Science, adaptation science will have to deepen our understanding of the hazards we are likely to face, provide knowledge of our vulnerability with respect to these hazards, improve our foresight in terms of what might happen, develop our understanding of decision making processes and the societal constraints for decision making, and develop options that are viable in a given cultural, legal, and economic context. The Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute at ODU is working with societal stakeholders to co-design a research agenda along these lines.


Dr. Plag obtained his Ph.D. in Natural Sciences in 1988 from the Free University of Berlin. His main fields of expertise are in sustainability, global and climate change, local to global sea level changes, Earth system dynamics, solid Earth geophysics, the rheology of the Earth's mantle and continuum mechanics, deformation of the solid Earth, space geodesy and geodetic reference frames. He has provided scientific advice to private companies and governmental committees, particularly with respect to future sea level rise. He joined ODU in 2013 as the Co-Director of the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative and Professor in the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He is now the Director of the Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI) at ODU.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

Old Dominion University Homepage CCPO
Innovation Research Park Building I
4111 Monarch Way, 3rd Floor
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23508
CCPO Homepage

Updated on 09/03/2014.
This page is maintained by Julie R. Morgan
Copyright Info: Old Dominion University 2014