Supporting Emerging Research in the Cascadia CoPes Hub

The Cascadia CoPes Hub annually funds 3-5 pilot projects, each designed to engage communities and support emergent research activities. These year-long initiatives aim to address the information needs identified by tribes and other coastal communities. 

Additionally, the Hub will award Rapid Response Projects, which are aligned with the Hub’s science goals and community partner interests but may be out of phase with the annual pilot project proposal process due to the collection of perishable hazard and disaster data.

Projects are awarded in late July. Learn more about these project below.

2023 Pilot Projects

Building STEM Identities and Resilience: Community-Driven Earthquake Monitoring at the Quileute Tribal School

Led by Hub member and UW graduate student Madeleine Lucas, in collaboration with Quileute Tribal School, a team will establish a community-driven earthquake monitoring program. Team members and K-12 students will work together to design, install, and monitor a seismometer and present results. This project combines STEM education with geohazards science and tribal collaboration.

Visualizing dynamic processes and social-ecological systems to advance coastal resilience action

Led by Dr. Celina Balderas Guzmán, in collaboration with community partners from WECAN (Willapa Erosion Control Action Now), a team will translate the benefits of collaborative nature-based erosion management approaches into accessible graphics to support ongoing community-led coastal resilience efforts. These materials will be produced in various formats and will educate viewers and advance stakeholder-identified needs.

Predicting Liquefaction-Induced Damage in Cascadia During M9 CSZ Earthquakes

Led by Brett Maurer, a team will use ground-motion simulations and artificial intelligence to predict the effects of soil liquefaction during earthquakes in the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ). The data produced will be made available to other ongoing studies of landslides, tsunamis, and other earthquake-related events.

Ecogeomorphic Model of Willapa Bay

Led by Hub member Kendall Valentine, a team will develop a numerical model to predict the impact of sea level rise on biological communities such as mud shrimp, seagrass, and oysters in Willapa Bay, Washington. The numerical model will be tested with a range of sea level rise scenarios, and results will be presented as an open-access model to aid future decision-making and aquaculture in Willapa Bay.

2022 Pilot Projects

Collecting Critical Infrastructure Inventories in the Tokland to Tahollah Collaboratory

Led by Hub member Dr. Jeffrey Berman, a team will be developing an infrastructure inventory in the Washington Tokland to Taholah collaboratory. This inventory is necessary to estimate the impacts of hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides) on critical infrastructure. Community partners include the Westport Public Works Department and the Washington State Emergency Management Division.

Inclusive Community-based STEAM Identity-building in Coastal Hazards Research: Pilot Activities for Cascadia TEACH with the Ocosta School District, WA

Led by Hub member Dr. Daniel Abramson, this project will pilot a novel K-12 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) engagement project. 4 different activities will be integrated into an afterschool program at Ocosta Junior and Senior High School to 1) create a ‘tsunami-eye’ view of pedestrian evacuation simulation to inform community drills; 2) develop virtual reality visuals of future flooding from tsunamis, and sea level rise; 3) envisioning positive action through art, creative writing, and Minecraft and other game-worlds; and 4) building geonarratives with participatory community asset mapping. 

Enhance Community Disaster Preparedness and Resiliency through Physical and Virtual Drills

Led by Hub member Dr. Haizhong Wang, this project will promote evacuation preparedness through physical reality and virtual reality drills along the Oregon coast. The team will work with coastal households to test the effectiveness of emergency operations plans to help refine household and community evacuation plans. Community partners include the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay.

Evaluating the Role of Short- and Long-term Channel Change on Nooksack River Flooding.

The Nooksack watershed transports the most sediment among all Salish Sea watersheds. Led by Hub member Dr. Alex Horner-Devine, the team will investigate the role of changing morphology and sediment management in modeluating flood risk in the lower Nooksack basin, within the northernmost Cascadia CoPes Hub collaboratory. Community partners include Whatcom County Public Works Department along with the Nooksack FLIP (Floodplain Integrated Planning) board made of local government, state, and federal agencies, Tribes, and agricultural representatives.

Rapid Response Award

Rapid Response to a Large Scale Tsunami Advisory: Understanding if, how, and why Cascadia Coastal Communities Receive Warnings and Change Behaviors

On January 15, 2022, a volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga resulted in the issuance of a tsunami advisory for the entire eastern Pacific coast of North America. Led by Hub member Dr. Nicole Errett, the project aims to understand if, how, and why emergency management officials responded to the alert, including engaging in additional community-specific risk communications or activating emergency support functions, as well as their perceptions of their community’s consideration of risk in response to the warning. This research will advance our understanding of how communities receive and interpret tsunami warnings, and how future warnings and in-development alert systems and messages can be tailored to meet the unique needs of Cascadia Coastal communities.