A “Big Data” initiative focusing on the Southern United States could have big impacts for coastal resilience.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) and the Georgia Institute of Technology will co-direct a national effort to develop a big data innovation hub serving 16 Southern states and the District of Columbia. The hub will have locations in Atlanta and Chapel Hill.
Three members of the Coastal Resilience Center (CRC) – Lead Principal Investigator and UNC faculty member Rick Luettich; Principal Investigator and RENCI researcher Brian Blanton; and co-Principal Investigator and University of North Florida faculty member Stephen Medeiros – took part in a Dec. 7-8 meeting on the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub (South BD Hub) held at Georgia Tech. The meeting focused on the next steps for the Hub, one of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) four Big Data Regional Innovation Hubs announced in November.
The BD Hub initiative aims to build innovative public-private partnerships that address regional challenges through big data analysis. For the South BD Hub, five regional challenges have been identified, two of which are directly relevant to the CRC’s mission, coastal hazards and habitat planning. NSF is currently soliciting proposals for “spoke” projects that are based on regional priorities and partnerships.
“Improving coastal resilience depends on our ability to inform coastal communities of the threats they face and the options they have to manage these threats,” Luettich said. “Doing this requires the assemblage, analysis and communication of highly complex and diverse data. I am excited to have the South BD Hub as a partner in this big data problem!”