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Coastal-Vulnerability Studies Presented at Organization of American States Meeting in Barbados

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Rob Thieler and Erika Hammar-Klose of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s Woods Hole Field Center were invited by the Organization of American States (OAS) to present a method for assessing the relative vulnerability of coasts to sea-level rise at a recent meeting in the Caribbean. They attended the Vulnerability Assessment Techniques (VAT) III Workshop, held in St. Michael, Barbados, on December 4 and 5, 2002, where they discussed their research using the coastal-vulnerability index (CVI).

The USGS' Office of International Programs provided support for Erika Hammar-Klose to present the results of USGS CVI studies at the workshop and foster increased collaboration between the USGS and OAS. A group of coastal scientists, regional planners, coastal-zone managers, engineers, and other interested parties met at the workshop to discuss "Coastal Hazards Vulnerability Assessment Methodologies and Their Applications." The conference was organized by the OAS' Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Coastal Services Center.

The goal of the meeting was to increase the awareness and application of vulnerability assessments in the development-planning process at local, regional, and national levels and to further develop a network of hazard-management professionals in the Caribbean region and Latin America. Participants came from the United States, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

The CVI provides a means to assess the relative vulnerability of the coast to future sea-level rise. This methodology has been applied to the U.S. Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. The CVI methodology was well received by workshop participants, and much discussion ensued as to how a similar study could be carried out and applied in other countries. Currently, Rob Thieler, Jeff Williams, and Elizabeth Pendleton of the USGS' Woods Hole Field Center are applying the CVI to several coastal national parks through a cooperative program with the National Park Service.

Additional presentations at VAT III were given on techniques for coastal-, hurricane-, and seismic-hazard assessment, as well as methodologies for multihazard evaluation. A series of breakout sessions were held to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the vulnerability-assessment techniques presented, as well as future research needs, strategies, and opportunities to broaden the use of vulnerability-assessment information. For more information on the VAT III workshop, visit the workshop Web site.

Related Web Sites
Vulnerability Assessment Techniques (VAT) III Workshop
Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise in the National Parks
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
National Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea-Level Rise
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
multi-nation cooperative
Unit for Sustainable Development and Environment
Organization of American States (OAS)
Coastal Services Center
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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Research cover story:
Competitive Edge of Invasive Species

Lake Mead Work Continues

Outreach Dolphin Rescue

London Interns Tour St. Pete

Congressional Briefing on Gas Hydrates

Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety

Science Mentoring

Meetings Coastal Vulnerability

Lidar Data and Technology

International Deep-Sea Corals Workshop

Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

Awards Shinn Wins 2002 Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award

Coastal and Marine Scientists Win 2002 Shoemaker Product Excellence Awards

Behrendt and Poag Elected AAAS Fellows

Normark Awarded Keen Medal

Staff & Center News A Tribute to Joe Newell

Marine Geophysics Pioneer Honored

Celebrating Careers of Five Retirees

Manheim Lectures on Trends in Scientific and Technological Innovation

Publications San Francisco Bay Earthquake Hazards

Effectivenes of Marine Reserves in Central California

Human Influence on Diatom Productivity and Sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay

Feb. / Mar. Publications List

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