George Perkins Marsh Institute Research on Coastal Risks

The vulnerability of coastal communities is gaining urgent attention in the face of climate change and devastating weather-related flooding and erosion.

Clark University Professor of Economics Robert Johnston, director of the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University, is leading vital research into the environmental and economic impacts of coastal hazards and adaptation along Northeast shores.

Johnston’s research assesses the economic benefits, costs and tradeoffs associated with coastal storms, flooding, and sea level rise in New England’s coastal communities. He has several projects under way, each supported by national grant-funding organizations, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Sea Grant, and National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) Science Collaborative.

Coastal vulnerability is an increasing focus of my work and that of the George Perkins Marsh Institute,” Johnston said. “These projects are all part of a broader research agenda to help communities better understand and adapt to hazards associated with coastal storms, flooding and sea level rise. Many decisions today are based on an incomplete understanding of the economics of coastal adaptation. We are trying to address this problem, and provide the information needed to make decisions that are in the long-term best interest of the public.

To check out some of Johnston’s recent grant-funded projects click HERE.


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