Two-Week Summer Program in Venice Explores Impacts of Sea Level Rise

July 14, 2014

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Graduate and undergraduate students from around the world are exploring the impacts sea-level rise will have on coastal cities and areas as part of a two-week program in Venice, Italy, offered by Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and the Venice International University.

The program, “Environmental Management in a Changing World: Coping with Sea Level Rise,” began July 14 and runs through July 27.

It combines intensive classroom and laboratory instruction with field trips to locations around the Venice Lagoon to teach students about the long-term social, economic, human health and environmental consequences of sea level rise, as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies that may help keep the rising waters at bay.

Sonia Silvestri, a research scientist in the Nicholas School’s Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, is directing the program.  Silvestri is an expert on environmental monitoring of coastal morphology and water quality, and is leading a course on that subject as part of the program.

Four other Nicholas School faculty members are also serving as instructors. They are Nicolas Cassar, associate professor of biogeochemistry; Brian Silliman, Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Conservation Biology; Brian Murray, research professor at the Nicholas School and director for economic analysis at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; and William Pan, assistant professor of global environmental health.

Faculty from the University of Padova, Venice International University and Ca’Fascari University and are also leading courses and field trips. 

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