EEG and LTEQ Proposals

Interested in participating in an Environmental Enquiry Group or Long-Term Environmental Quest Group? Please contact the principle investigators listed for the projects below to request more information about ways you can get involved.

EEG Proposals

Project Title: Unnatural Disaster: Coastal Flooding, Sea Level Rise, and Environmental Justice in Virginia’s Tidewater Region

Project Abstract: We propose to initiate an EEG designed to promote interdisciplinary work to examine how coastal flooding and sea level rise exposes social vulnerability and raises questions of environmental justice in Virginia’s Tidewater Region. Virginia has the highest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast. Establishing the intellectual and research foundation to support informed adaptation measures is a critical first step to ensuring that the burdens of responding to sea level rise and coastal flooding are distributed as equitably as possible. This proposal is therefore designed to create an EEG that will: 1) create and support faculty engagement, teaching, and research to address the social and economic aspects of sea level rise, and 2) result in a joint, interdisciplinary grant proposal designed to answer specific research questions identified by the group.

Principle Investigator Contact Information:
Shana Jones
Director and Managing Attorney, Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic
William & Mary Law School


Project Title: A feasibility study for developing a Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) focused on energy-related pollutants in Coastal Plain watersheds

Project Abstract: We seek funding to assess the feasibility of developing an NSF-funded Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) site in the Virginia Coastal Plain. The initial focus of this CZO would be the cycling of energy-related pollutants through forested and developed watersheds in the Coastal Plain. The funding will support a two-day summer workshop to develop the vision and goals for a CZO, identify potential collaborators within and beyond William and Mary, and select potential field locations for the CZO. Following this, we will contact potential collaborators to assess interest and obtain feedback on our CZO ideas and vision. With this feedback in hand, the PIs will discuss the nascent CZO ideas with the CZO program directors at NSF to gauge interest in a full CZO proposal. Assuming the NSF response is positive, two PIs will visit an existing CZO site to discuss successful strategies and potential pitfalls in CZO proposals and operations. Finally, we will complete a white paper with recommendations and guidance for how to proceed in constructing a full NSF CZO proposal. If such a proposal looks promising, this white paper would form the backbone of an EEG proposal in spring 2014 seeking support for developing the full CZO proposal.

Principle Investigator Contact Information:

Carl Friedrichs and Willy Reay, VIMS

Greg Hancock and James Kaste, Geology


Project Title: Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Adaptation

Project Abstract: The dramatic effects of sea level rise develop from damaging incidents of inundation due to storm surge, and carry policy implications. The storms Katrina, Isabel, Irene, Nor-Ida, and Sandy have raised public awareness of sea level rise as a critical impact of climate change. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has developed an award-winning ability to model storm surge inundation, and can apply this capability to assess future impacts. We intend to use the VIMS high-resolution storm surge and inundation model as a basis for collaboration across the college on the issue of sea level rise. Working with the Center for Geospatial Analysis (CGA), VIMS will produce scenarios detailing the impact of future storms on critical infrastructure in the Chesapeake Bay region. This Environmental Enquiry Group (EEG) collaboration will use these scenarios to discuss planning for sea level rise, adaptation, and mitigation in response to the climate change hazard.

The expected products of the EEG include an enhanced ability to model storm events and their damage in near-real time, collaborations between W&M faculty and VIMS on climate change issues, and the possibility of stimulating new proposals.

Principle Investigator Contact Information:

David Forrest, VIMS: [[v|drf]], 804-684-7900

Stuart Hamilton, CGA: [[w|sehamilton]], 757-221-2304