somewhat sparingly-updated blog. An outlet for thoughts on my research and related topics.

Recent Posts

  • Salt Marsh Watch up & running I'm excited to announce that my early outreach videos on sea-level rise and time lapse photography of salt marsh tidal flows has been featured on naturedocumentaries.org. Check ...
    Posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:16 PM by Dean Hardy
  • First Publications! Just want to take a moment to share two publications that I'm co-author on that came out recently. These also count as my first official journal articles, which ...
    Posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:16 PM by Dean Hardy
  • Capturing Tides During cycling and filming along the coast last summer as part of my plan to "immerse" myself in the landscape of coastal Georgia prior to commencing my dissertation fieldwork, I ...
    Posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:14 PM by Dean Hardy
  • Tracing Future Shorelines I had a great idea last spring to cycle the Georgia coast while recording the areas of the coastal landscape that are susceptible to sea-level rise. Some of the ...
    Posted Sep 7, 2014, 7:38 PM by Dean Hardy
  • Introduction Welcome. I'm a geography PhD student at the University of Georgia and my research focuses on the theme of vulnerability to environmental hazards, specifically social vulnerability to sea-level ...
    Posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:11 PM by Dean Hardy
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 5. View more »

Salt Marsh Watch up & running

posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:16 PM by Dean Hardy

I'm excited to announce that my early outreach videos on sea-level rise and time lapse photography of salt marsh tidal flows has been featured on naturedocumentaries.org. Check it out!

And for those who haven't read the previous posts, this work is part of the outreach component of my dissertation research on vulnerability to sea-level rise in Georgia. More videos to come! Check them out on my Vimeo channel, Salt Marsh Watch. I'll continue to post new videos there over the coming years.

Also, check out the blog, Guy In The Salt Marsh, from my colleague, Rachel Guy. She's studying the potential impacts of sea-level rise on fisheries.


First Publications!

posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:16 PM by Dean Hardy

Just want to take a moment to share two publications that I'm co-author on that came out recently. These also count as my first official journal articles, which is exciting! 

The first one was written by the first cohort of the Integrative Conservation (ICON) PhD Program at UGA in 2012, initially as a class paper. Good job everyone!

I had the great fortune of helping a few ICON faculty write the second one, which we wrote to outline the approaches that the UGA ICON program is taking to tackle the challenges of interdisciplinary education in conservation and sustainability science.

Vercoe, R. A., M. Welch-Devine, D. Hardy, J. A. Demoss, S. N. Bonney, K. Allen, P. Brosius, D. Charles, B. Crawford, S. Heisel, N. Heynen, R. G. de Jesús-Crespo, N. Nibbelink, L. Parker, C. Pringle, A. Shaw & L. Van Sant (2014) Acknowledging Trade-offs and Understanding Complexity: Exurbanization Issues in Macon County, North Carolina. Ecology and Society, 19(1).

Welch-Devine, M., D. Hardy, J. P. Brosius & N. Heynen (2014) A pedagogical model for integrative training in conservation and sustainability. Ecology and Society, 19(2).

-Dean

Capturing Tides

posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:14 PM by Dean Hardy

During cycling and filming along the coast last summer as part of my plan to "immerse" myself in the landscape of coastal Georgia prior to commencing my dissertation fieldwork, I took some time to explore time lapse photography. Here are a couple of samples of the time lapse trials that capture tidal flow over 1 - 1.5 hours. I aspire to collect many more of these throughout my dissertation fieldwork and will post the better ones on the blog. The first one is on Tybee Island, GA and the second one on U.S. HWY 80 on the way out to Tybee from Savannah, GA.

Thanks for checking these out!


Tracing Future Shorelines

posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:12 PM by Dean Hardy   [ updated Sep 7, 2014, 7:38 PM ]

I had a great idea last spring to cycle the Georgia coast while recording the areas of the coastal landscape that are susceptible to sea-level rise. Some of the video footage would later be incorporated into a short educational outreach film. I decided that the most efficient way to go about this would be on a bicycle - moving not too fast, nor too slow - tracing the 3' contour line.

Well, measuring elevation can be a bit confusing if you're not familiar with it, because it has to be referenced to something called an elevation datum, so really I was planning to cycle along the contour line that's 3' above the current mean higher high water (MHHW) mark; i.e. 3' above the average high tide as it flows in currently, but for now let's just say the plan was to ride along the area where the sea might be at the end of this century, based on the latest scientific assessment of sea-level rise projections and assuming no shoreline armoring or modifications that would alter current topography. I'll stop there with that side track. Perhaps I'll write a post in the coming weeks/months about datums and the technical aspects of measuring tides and sea-levels (and their changes). If you're really excited about datums and just can't wait on me to post about them, you can learn more about them over at NOAA's website.

Anyway, much of this line falls on people's private property, sometimes in their back yards, sometimes in their front yards. Needless to say, I wasn't going to trespass, so I mapped out a route along roads that followed the 3' contour above high tide as close as the roads permitted. This ended up being just a little over 20 miles on Tybee, so not too far at all on the bike. You can see the extent of the current mean high tide (green shades), the extent of high tide if sea-levels were 3' higher (blue shades), and my cycle route in the map below.
Note that there are two routes. The lighter shaded one was a ride without the video
camera and preceded the day I rode with the camera mounted on the handlebars.

Tybee's a great place to start out such a ride too, as everyone - tourists, recreational cyclists from Savannah, and locals - all ride here. 

The plan had been to cycle the whole coast this way (which would have been a few hundred miles), but I got caught up in the ethnographic parts of my research interviewing local residents and government officials and staff on Tybee Island and in Chatham County. I spent the majority of my limited time (and budget!) interviewing instead of cycling and filming the landscape. I still hope to get to it, but I only cycled around Tybee for a couple of  days in July, and then later in mid-August I cycled 70 miles along the ocean front area of the mainland in McIntosh County. I'll post some details about McIntosh later.

Tybee lies just to the south of the Savannah River and is one of many sea islands stretching from northern Florida into North Carolina, backed by a vast swath of salt marsh wetlands. Georgia has 13 barrier islands all formed between 30,000-40,000 years ago. Most who know Tybee Island (at least everyone I've met that does) really love it, as do I. It's an eclectic small island community of around 3000 people on the outer edge of Georgia (the most eastern point, as a matter of fact). Much of the island is covered with little cottages and beach businesses, but this has changed some in the past couple of decades as interest in living on the coast has increased across the U.S. And on that note, I'm going to stop chatting at you and share some clips of my ride that capture the residential zones of Tybee vulnerable to sea-level rise.


-Dean

Introduction

posted Sep 7, 2014, 4:11 PM by Dean Hardy   [ updated Sep 7, 2014, 4:11 PM ]

Welcome. I'm a geography PhD student at the University of Georgia and my research focuses on the theme of vulnerability to environmental hazards, specifically social vulnerability to sea-level rise on the Georgia coast, but with the angle that the environments (ecological, political, and sociocultural ones, not just the natural "environment") people live in contribute to their vulnerability. Every month or so, I'll post a short piece on my research theme and/or experiences on the blog.

Sea levels in Georgia have risen an average of nine inches (1 foot = 0.3048 meters) since 1935 as measured by NOAA's tide gauge at Fort Pulaski off U.S. Hwy 80, which is a rate of one foot per century ( + 0.13 ft ).

There are multiple forms of vulnerability. To name a few, there are social, economic, natural, educational, political, and technical forms, and on and on. Each occurs in context, in the particular situation in which it arises and because of this has unique aspects regarding who is affected and what it is that affects them. To quote a colleague, Dr. Ed Carr, when assessing vulnerability it's important to first answer the question, "vulnerability of what, to what?" In other words, some social groups are more vulnerable to hurricanes, while being less vulnerable to tornadoes, fires, or even technical challenges and limitations. However, many assessments of vulnerability are "all-inclusive," meaning that they use aggregated characteristics to generate composite indices of "total" vulnerability.

These assessments show researchers and planners information at a different scale, and aid in comparing the relative vulnerability of one area to that of another area, but they tend to obscure the particularities, in other words the details, of why certain groups are more vulnerable to specific types of hazards. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but I'll have a post soon on vulnerability that breaks it down and explains it in more detail. I should say though, that vulnerability is related to the concepts of risk, exposure, sensitivity, resilience, and adaptive capacity, but I'll elaborate on those terms in the future post on vulnerability. I just wanted to introduce myself and my blog with this post.

Stay tuned and please follow me if you're interested in vulnerability, climate change, and/or sea-level rise.

-Dean

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