Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: Convergence NNA: Coordinate a Transdisciplinary Research Network to Identify Challenges of and Solutions to Permafrost Coastal Erosion and Its Socioecological Impacts in the Arctic (Award# 1745369)

PI: Xiao, Ming (mxiao@engr.psu.edu)
Phone: (814) 867.0044 
Institute/Department: Penn State University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ARCSS
Program Manager: Dr. Diane McKnight (dmcknigh@nsf.gov )
Discipline(s): | Education and Outreach |

Project Web Site(s):
NSF_Award_Info: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1...

Science Summary:
The Permafrost Coastal Erosion-RCN (PCE-RCN) will bring together leaders in fields of natural and social science and engineering to address the challenges faced by coastal communities in the Arctic due to rapid coastal erosion. Rapid coastal erosion can force communities to consider moving inland and limit access to resources. One goal of the PCE-RCN will be to better understand the challenges associated with coastal erosion, which is driven by permafrost thaw and changing sea ice conditions. Another goal is to identify potential solutions and their socio-ecological impacts. These goals will be addressed through a series of international workshops, publications and direct interaction with local media. Engagement with regional and local resource managers and communities will be incorporated throughout many of the activities of the PCE-RCN. This project promotes convergence by focusing on a topic of high societal concern, coastal erosion in the Arctic, and by approaching this topic in a manner that will integrate diverse fields, including social science and natural science disciplines (coastal geophysics, soil physics, climate modelling, and atmospheric science) and disciplines in civil and environmental engineering. The Permafrost Coastal Erosion-RCN (PCE-RCN) will bring together national and international leaders in the diverse scientific and engineering disciplines needed to address the pressing societal issue of rapid coastal erosion. Rapid coastal erosion is underway throughout the Arctic, and is impacting coastal communities in profound ways, including displacement and loss of livelihood. The goal of the PCE-RCN will be to further resolve through synthesis activities how coastal erosion is driven by permafrost thaw and changing sea ice conditions and to identify potential solutions and their socio-ecological impacts. These goals will be addressed through a series of international workshops, white papers and other outlets. Engagement with regional and local resource managers and communities will be incorporated throughout many of the activities of the PCE-RCN.

Logistics Summary:
The goal of this project is to establish a transdisciplinary Permafrost Coastal Erosion Research Coordination Network (PCE-RCN) to identify challenges of and solutions to Arctic permafrost coastal erosion as well as its socioecological impacts by converging civil and coastal engineering, social sciences, and permafrost and climate sciences. Beginning in the summer of 2018 this 4 year project will hold annual meetings/workshops to bring additional researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and Alaskan local community representatives to the RCN, so that the challenges can be better understood and appropriately addressed in a broad scheme. No fieldwork is associated with this project.




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