Ali Rezaie

VASG Advanced Science Communications Seminar Outreach Plan

Abstract :

Natural lands in coastal areas provide a variety of ecosystem services such as water purification, carbon sequestration, and flood mitigation. A service that is gaining increasing attention is protection from hurricane storm surge and waves. Coastal wetlands can attenuate the impact of storm surge by reducing wave energy, erosion and currents velocity thus reducing the landward propagation of surge and lowering flood levels and property damages. As the climate warms, sea levels rise, and hurricanes become more frequent or severe, these protective services provided by wetlands are likely to become more valuable and yet at the same time more threatened. Therefore, in order to disseminate the significance of wetlands and marshes for sustainable coastal resilience, the outreach plan focuses on preparing a documentary video. The video will mostly focus on delivering the key scientific outcomes of how these natural lands are protecting coastal communities from both engineering and economic perspective. Additionally, a set of academics, scientists, economists and practitioners will be interviewed as part of the outreach product. The interviews will not only render the importance of the ecosystem service of wetlands but also portray the intrinsic human relationship with nature. The humane display of the scientists will also exhibit the compassionate research that are carried out behind the concrete walls on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, the documentary will promote George Mason University’s (GMU) growing contribution to the society and environment at both a local and a national level. As a perfect fit to the context of the research, the flood hazard research lab in the Civil Engineering department at GMU will provide necessary logistic support. Finally, if possible motion captures from coastal marshes and wetlands will be used in the documentary.


Objectives of Outreach Product:

  • Showcase the capacity of wetlands and marshes to attenuate storm surge and waves from scientific background
  • Sharing outcome of the recent scientific studies to valuate($) the flood protection service
  • Displaying the humane side of the scientific communities
  • Advocating GMU’s role in advancing coastal and estuarine research to improve societal resilience


Tentative Interviewees :


Tentative Audience/User/Stakeholders:

  • National Preserve Area Managers
  • Coastal Practitioner and Floodplain Managers
  • Conservationist and Environmental Science Educators
  • George Mason University