About Us

The mission of the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC) is to conduct research and education to enhance the resilience of the nation’s people, infrastructure, economies and the natural environment to the impacts of coastal hazards such as floods and hurricanes, including the effects of future climate trends.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leads the CRC, made possible through a five-year, $20 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs. The CRC is a consortium of universities, private companies, and government agencies focused on applied research, education and outreach addressing threats to coastal communities due to natural hazards and climate change.

The CRC expands on work conducted through the DHS Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence, which was co-led by UNC-Chapel Hill and Jackson State University from 2008 to 2015. Successful outcomes of research supported by the Coastal Hazards Center can be found at hazardscenter.unc.edu.

The CRC’s leadership team is comprised of Dr. Rick Luettich, Lead Principal Investigator; Dr. Gavin Smith, Director; Dr. Robert Whalin, Education and Workforce Director (Jackson State University); Dr. Tom Richardson, Accosiate Director (Jackson State University); and Anna Schwab, Program Manager.

Examples of expected research outcomes include:

  • Developing more accurate storm surge models and timely delivery of accurate predictions of storm surge prior to storm landfall.
  • Assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, states and local governments in the development of better predictions of coastal hazards and pre-disaster plans.
  • Improving understanding about why individuals choose to (or not to) implement risk-reduction measures at the household level and what risk-reduction measures they employ.
  • Improving the ability to communicate risk to multiple audiences and take action based on that understanding.
  • Educating the next generation of students that will become hazards researchers and practitioners, emphasizing the development of certificate and degree programs in minority-serving educational institutions.

For a list of CRC projects, click here.