Tulane to Host Government's New Coastal Research Center

August 18, 2006

Michael Strecker
Phone: (504) 865-5210

Tulane University has been selected by the Department of Energy's Office of Science as the host university for its new National Institute for Climatic Change Research Coastal Center. The center, established through a nearly $1.7 million per year cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy, will solicit, review and make recommendations to the department regarding funding research projects.

The funded projects will reduce scientific uncertainty about potential effects of climatic change and sea level rise on coastal ecosystems throughout the nation. Changes in the biological productivity of coastal ecosystems, their biodiversity and their erosion and expansion inland are examples of the type of research the department will consider for funding.

"Basically, any research that helps us understand and predict changes to coastal ecosystems and their impact," says Torbjörn Törnqvist, a Tulane associate professor of earth and environmental sciences who, along with Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Assistant Professor Jeff Chambers, wrote the proposal that secured the cooperative agreement.

Tulane was chosen as a site for the center through a competitive peer-review process open to all colleges and universities in the country. The new center is the only National Institute for Climatic Change Research center dedicated to studying the potential effects of climatic change on coastal terrestrial ecosystems along the United States' vast coastline.

The other National Institute for Climatic Change Research Centers, hosted by Pennsylvania State University, Duke University, Michigan Technological University, and Northern Arizona University, manage research on inland terrestrial ecosystems.

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