American Water Resources Association
Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and the Wetland Section Leader at the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences
Worldwide, coastal wetlands are recognized as a transition zone that is critical for buffering the coast from the effects of climate change, and they are also one of the habitats most vulnerable to the effects of accelerated sea level rise. Recent research has shown that coastal wetlands in the U.S. Northeast are disappearing at an alarming rate. These wetlands largely are not being lost to coastal development, but to fragmentation and drowning, like wetlands in the Mississippi Delta region. This presentation will discuss processes and rates of coastal marsh drowning in the Northeast, review evidence that accelerated sea level rise is chiefly to blame, and describe the new paradigm emerging in coastal wetland conservation in response to sea level rise.
Elizabeth Watson is a wetland scientist who studies the response of coastal estuaries to human impacts and climate change in order to promote more informed management, conservation and restoration. Elizabeth is an assistant professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and the Wetland Section Leader at the Patrick Center for Environmental Research at the Academy of Natural Sciences. She received her PhD in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and prior to coming to Drexel, worked as a research ecologist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Current projects include tracking carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation benefits in a large ($5 million +) coastal wetland restoration project, working with remote sensing data and ecological models to evaluate decision support tools for sea level rise planning, and reconstructing the history of nutrient over-enrichment (last 200 years) in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.
This seminar does qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH). A Certificate of Attendance will be available on site for AWRA-PMAS members only. The meeting price for non-members who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for the PDH is $10.00 ($3.00 for meeting + $7.00 for certificate).