Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Fall 2023 Virtual Seminar Series


Erin Seekamp
North Carolina State University

Monday, November 6, 2023
3:30 PM

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 941 4620 5839
Passcode: 688274


Natural and cultural resources—and the infrastructure that supports tourism—within coastal destinations are vulnerable to climate change stressors. Sea level rise and storm-related flooding and erosion are damaging or destroying historic structures, exposing archeological remains, disrupting transportation systems and access infrastructure, and altering landscapes and the lives and livelihoods of residential communities. Yet in areas where tourism dollars drive the economy, resilience is most often focused on returning to normal as quickly as possible (i.e., bouncing back) rather than considering how to adapt and transform (i.e., bounce forward). Moreover, policy guidance—particularly for heritage resource management generally and climate adaptation planning specifically—is purposively vague and centered on notions of preservation and persistence. This presentation focuses on insights and considerations for bouncing forward in high-risk coastal tourism and heritage destinations, as well as strategies to center climate adaptation decisions in the values that drive support and opposition. Ultimately, sharing decision space will enable transformative continuity of heritage values and a more just and sustainable future.


Dr. Erin Seekamp is the Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Coastal Resilience and Sustainability in the North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources and serves as the director of the North Carolina State’s Coastal Resilience and Sustainability Initiative, an interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Provost’s Office that unites over 250 faculty to advance research and educational innovations with and for communities. As a social scientist, she focuses on integrating values into climate adaptation planning and decision-making to support the transformation of places and heritage values. Her research has been supported by over $20 million in grants and disseminated in over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She has mentored 6 postdoctoral scholars, 56 graduate students (6 doctoral and 14 master of science students as chair or co-chair), and 15 undergraduate students. She has also reached over 700 community members and resource managers through her outreach and engagement efforts. Her research has been highlighted in numerous popular media sources, including The Guardian and The Washington Post.

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