About the National Center for Integrated Coastal Research

The National Center for Integrated Coastal Research (UCF Coastal) integrates science with societal needs to find solutions. Our team of interdisciplinary researchers and scientists is committed to an evidence-based, whole-community approach to increase the resiliency and sustainability of coastal communities by bringing together biologists, chemists, engineers, emergency managers, sociologists, political scientists, medical researchers, economists and urban planners. Responsible management of Florida’s exceptional coastal resources and ocean-based economy depends on innovative scientific research to address complex environmental, economic and social challenges. UCF Coastal’s goal is to link the ecological security of coastal ecosystems with the economic security of coastal communities, ensuring the sustainability of our coastlines and economy for generations to come.


Graham Worthy, Ph.D.

Director and
Research Lead

Graham Worthy, Ph.D.
Pegasus Professor and Chair
Department of Biology
UCF College of Sciences


Why Coastal Research?

Globally, about 3 billion people live within 100 miles of a coastline, attracted by the natural beauty, lifestyle and economic opportunities. But as these vulnerable areas become home to a growing number of the world’s population, they are suffering serious environmental decline. While coastal counties account for only 10 percent of the United States, they are home to nearly 40 percent of its population and generate more than $7 trillion annually. Given the intense concentration of infrastructure, economic production and people, there is an urgent need for focused research and policy to maintain the integrity and quality of these natural resources that are an essential part of our society.


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National Center for Integrated Coastal Research Goals

The mission of UCF Coastal is to:

  1. Lead a world-class effort to assess natural and human-related impacts to the health, restoration and sustainability of coastal systems.
  2. Conduct long-term, integrated, multi-disciplinary research with strategic external partners.
  3. Communicate findings in an effective and efficient way to advance scientific inquiry, support resource conservation and management and to assist policy makers.
  4. Communicate information to the general public.
  5. Train the next generation of scientists to enter the workforce as effective researchers and science emissaries, with interdisciplinary skills that can bridge the gap between science and society, serving as translators and communicators.

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What We Do and Who Will Benefit

UCF Coastal, and its activities, will generate data and models and provide expertise to help address coastline vulnerabilities ranging from extreme weather and public health to tourism and urban planning. UCF Coastal positions UCF to be a global leader integrating science and societal needs into more effective economic development and planning, environmental stewardship, hazard mitigation planning and public policy development by linking the ecological security of coastal ecosystems with the economic security of coastal communities.

Those who will benefit include:

  • Federal, state, city and county planners working to design cities and infrastructure such as dams, bridges or levees.
  • Transportation engineers and agencies that design roadways and other systems to transport goods and people around the state and the nation, as well as businesses relying on ports.
  • Emergency planners and management officials responsible for advising on safety during natural disasters such as hurricanes.
  • Health professionals and agencies responding to disaster zones or working to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Biologists and conservationists working to save animal and plant species, especially those critical to coastline health and that fortify against hurricanes and wind.
  • Tourism officials and business owners relying on revenue from beaches and ecotourism.
  • Taxpayers who help pay for disaster cleanup related to hurricanes, floods and storm surge.


Faculty

The following faculty are involved in developing and guiding the center and its efforts.