Over half of the American public lives within 50 miles of its coastlines, but as sea levels rise, these communities and the coastal habitats that protect them are increasingly at risk. HRI Associate Director and Endowed Chair for Socio-economics Dr. David Yoskowitz is joining a team of Gulf of Mexico researchers in refining, enhancing and extending computer models to better understand the impacts sea level rise could have on human coastal communities.
The $1.2 million project is funded by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and is being conducted in collaboration with HRI, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, University of Central Florida, and the University of South Carolina. The work will enhance and extend existing large-scale, high-definition computer models, as well as link economic impact and the value of ecosystem services to the coastal dynamics of sea level rise. Ecosystem services are the benefits, tangible and intangible, that people gain from the environment, and finding ways to measure and better communicate those benefits to the public has been a focus of Yoskowitz’s research at HRI.
Dr. David Yoskowitz brings a socio-economic perspective to issues that impact the Gulf of Mexico region, an important tool for making environmental issues tangible to the public. His work at HRI is focused on elucidating the link between environmental well-being and human well-being and moving practice into policy. He is leading an effort to inventory and value ecosystem services for the Gulf of Mexico region and quantifying the impact of sea-level rise on coastal community resiliency.
Yoskowitz also served as Chief Economist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2014-2015, working to integrate social science throughout its operations and cultivate stronger ties with the bio-physical sciences. He co-chaired an interagency task force, under the auspices of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that developed a research agenda around coastal green infrastructure and ecosystem services. Working with the NOAA Social Science Committee he helped develop the Social Science Vision and Strategy for the agency.