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ODU's MARI Hosting Statewide Sea Level Rise Research Workshop

A key component of the multidisciplinary work done by Old Dominion University in the field of sea level rise is to contribute to the academic study of the phenomenon, and what can be done about it.

Old Dominion's Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI) which is charged with coordinating the University's academic study of sea level rise, is gathering researchers from across the state for a workshop to review the status of relevant research in Virginia.

The Aug. 11-13 event, "Mitigation and Adaptation Research in Virginia," seeks to help with the design of a research agenda that can help provide academically-grounded practitioner knowledge to communities in Virginia facing present and future challenges with sea level rise.

The event is being hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Suffolk. Full information on the workshop is available at the MARI Website.

MARI director Hans-Peter Plag, professor of ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences at Old Dominion, said the workshop will form the basis for a comprehensive assessment of what is known about the mitigation of or adaptation to climate change and sea level rise, and current and future impacts in Virginia.

The main outcome of the workshop will be a report produced by the academic community in Virginia, both in universities and research institutes, covering the full range of mitigation and adaptation science. The report will also consider non-peer-reviewed literature such as state-mandated reports on sea level rise adaptation.

"The resulting report will have a focus on practice-relevant knowledge. It will identify knowledge gaps and describe the research needed to close these gaps," Plag said. "It will also not seek the endorsement of local, state and federal governments, to allow the academic community to freely access knowledge without constraints."

The workshop will cover all five main fields of mitigation and adaptation science - the hazards, vulnerabilities, foresight, decision making and options.

"The time for mitigating climate change and its impacts and adapting to the changes is running out. There is an urgent need to develop adaptation science and to produce the practice-relevant knowledge that addresses all these issues," Plag said.

The workshop is supported by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Organizers will be able to provide support to a number of participants to cover room costs. For more information and details how to apply, contact MARI at 757-683-5335.

ODU has been a hub of research and outreach in the area of sea level rise for decades. The university tapped into expertise in each of its six colleges four years ago when President John R. Broderick launched the university's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI). MARI, which has evolved from the CCSLRI, is designed to be a think tank to develop and support coastal resiliency strategies.

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