Informing and enabling integrated hazard assessment, mitigation, and adaptation
—including comprehensive planning, policy making, and engineering—
through targeted scientific advances in collaboration with coastal communities
The Cascadia Coastlines and Peoples Hazards Research Hub, or Cascadia CoPes hub, answers calls by Pacific Northwest coastal communities for a coordinated research agenda to help them achieve resilience (Ruckelshaus Center, 2017, Oregon Resilience Plan, 2013).
Stretching from Cape Mendocino in California through the Salish Sea, the Cascadia subduction zone puts the region at risk from “The Really Big One” – a megaquake. In addition to acute risks of earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides, Cascadia also faces chronic risks including coastal erosion and regional flooding. Climate change is amplifying many of these threats, as sea level rise and weather extremes increase.
The Cascadia CoPes hub brings together groups interested in coastal resilience to help coordinate research with and for Pacific Northwest coastal communities to increase community adaptive capacity. With the participation of researchers from across the region the hub aims to achieve this through advances in understanding processes such as: subduction megaquake frequency, how geological processes influence biodiversity, how tsunamis move debris, best management practices to keep coastal communities connected and protected from hazards, and how and for whom risk governance processes may be exclusionary in the region. To achieve equitable and just outcomes, the Cascadia CoPes hub strives to respect and incorporate traditional and local ecological knowledge.
An important part of the hub is the Cascadia Coastal Hazards and Resilience Training, Education and Research, or CHARTER, program. This program offers formal and informal training, education and hazards science research from middle school to graduate and postdoctoral levels. The CHARTER Fellows program provides a unique opportunity for students who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color); Latinx; LGBTQ; first generation; and/or low-income, in all academic disciplines to participate in hazards and resilience research.