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  • Shell Center for Sustainability
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The Shell Center for Sustainability's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach, and education to address actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of communities' living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting the overall quality of life.

2014 Workshop Header 

Our dynamic coastline is changing faster than ever before. Changes are visible over the last 50, 30 and even 10 years. The environmental, social and economic impacts of coastal change are readily measurable and are increasing. These impacts can make us less resilient, particularly when more intense conditions affect our coastal state. The effects result in even greater impact beyond our coast.

The Shell Center for Sustainability presents How Sustainable is the Texas Coast? Are we in a "state of denial"? A workshop that presents the most recent scientific data modeled by a team of multidisciplinary researchers working together to measure what these effects will mean to us.

The workshop takes place on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, at McMurtry Auditorium in Duncan  Hall, on the Rice University campus. Parking & Transportation information



8:00 am
Registration & Check-in
(Morning refreshments will be served in the commons. Food or beverage is not allowed in the auditorium)
8:30 am Welcome – John Anderson, Ph.D., Academic Director, Shell Center for Sustainability
8:45 am How Sustainable is the Texas Coast?
  The impact of global change on theTexas Coast.
John Anderson, Ph.D.
9:15 am Sediment Supply
  From the river to the coast: The Brazos, a river with regional impact.
Jeff Nittrouer, Ph.D.
9:45 am Severe Storm Impacts in the Presence of Hurricane Surge
  Severe storms and surge are evaluated for the Brazos River site near Freeport using advanced ADCIRC models combining inland rainfall models to evaluate the risks of flooding to both industry and to residential areas. Earlier work in Galveston Bay is being extended to the Brazos River to better asses the vulnerability of the area both under current conditions and climate change in the future.
P. B. Bedient, Ph.D. P.E.
10:15 am Storm Impacts on Select Energy and Transportation Infrastructure
  How may our infrastructure be affected by a changing climate and what are the vulnerabilities of select energy and transportation infrastructure to severe storms? Advances in coastal bridge infrastructure and oil storage tank vulnerability modeling are presented to support multi-disciplinary risk assessment and mitigation activities.
Jamie Padgett, Ph.D.
10:45 am
(Morning refreshments will be served in the commons. Food or beverage is not allowed in the auditorium)
11:00 am Predicting Urban Growth in Vulnerable Coastal Environments
  Our research component of the SCS project proposes to increase planning capacity of coastal communities by predicting land use/land cover change (LUCC) using pattern-based models for communities along the Upper Texas Coast. The primary goal of our proposed research is to provide costal communities with valid predictions of future LUCC coupled with changes in natural hazard risk and vulnerability.
Sam Brody, Ph.D.
Russell Blessing 
11:30 am Policy
  Gulf conditions and necessary change: A policy analysis.
Ken Medlock, Ph.D.
12:00 pm
(A vegetarian or vegan  lunch will be served. Food or beverage is not allowed in the auditorium)
12:45 pm Keynote Speech: "Implications of 21st Century Meta-trends for Gulf Coast Sustainability"
  John Day, Ph.D.
1:45 pm Panel Discussion: David Mohrig, Ph.D. moderator
2:45 pm Conclusion