Community Resilience Collaborative

The Community Resilience Collaborative (CRC) is a research- and extension-based coastal planning program that combines the reach and resources of two Texas A&M University (TAMU) programs: the Texas Sea Grant College Program and Texas Target Communities (TTC).  

CRC logo

The CRC provides technical assistance for planning, outreach and education aimed at coastal communities, particularly resource managers, land use planners and emergency managers who deal with hazard mitigation. Planning is emphasized to address critical land use, environmental, hazard mitigation and disaster recovery issues through coastal planning. Priority is placed on providing planning assistance to low-capacity, low-resource and/or underrepresented communities. The CRC also funds small grants for community resilience research and facilitates service-learning opportunities for faculty and students in TAMU’s College of Architecture, College of Geosciences, School of Public Health, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Engineering, Bush School of Government and Public Service, and School of Law and College of Liberal Arts, and at Texas A&M University at Galveston. 

 

Goals of the program

  1. Communities adopt high-quality plans to achieve locally defined visions of sustainable development.
  2. Communities increase resilience to natural and technological hazards.
  3. Habitat, ecosystems and the services they provide are monitored, enhanced and/or restored.
  4. Local and scientific knowledge is leveraged in planning and other decision-making processes.

The CRC is headquartered at TAMU in College Station and has a team of extension-based coastal planners in the field. The coastal planners work in three regions of the Texas coast: the Upper Coast, Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley.

In addition to the counties bordering the Gulf of Mexico or bays, the planners work with communities in the next two counties inland due to the wide-reaching impacts of inland development patterns and land use planning practices on coastal communities. CRC coastal planners provide planning technical assistance, outreach and professional development education. They also act as a bridge between university researchers and local communities, transferring the best available science and data to communities and transferring back information about community needs to university researchers.

 

For more information regarding the CRC, please contact seagrant@tamu.edu

Coastal Hazard Adaptation Success Stories

Online Tools and Resources


What We Do

 

  • Facilitate and lead project management of planning processes including comprehensive planning, hazard mitigation planning and environmental planning.

  • Facilitate community and stakeholder engagement in planning processes.

  • Provide technical assistance and transfers and translates planning data and tools to support decision making.

  • Educate and train community elected and appointed officials and staff on planning resources, tools and best practices.

  • Conduct applied research on social vulnerability, coastal planning, risk perception, hazard mitigation, ecosystem services and the economic impacts of coastal hazards.

  • Facilitate multi-jurisdictional watershed planning to protect water quality and quantity and to mitigate stormwater runoff.

  • Support research and fills information gaps in the current understanding of ecosystem management best practices.

  • Provide service/transformational learning opportunities for university students – the next generation of coastal stakeholders and leaders. 

CRC Team Members

Jaimie Masterson, Co-Director, Associate Director at Texas Target Communities

Jeewasmi Thapa, Program Coordinator, Texas Target Communities

Walter McLendon Peacock, Planning Specialist, Upper Coast, Texas Sea Grant

Kate de Gennaro, Planning Specialist, Lower Coast Texas Sea Grant

Ashley Bennis, Planning Specialist, Coastal Bend, Texas Sea Grant

Morgen Ayers, Natural Resources Specialist, Coastal Bend, Texas Sea Grant

 

Funded Research Projects

Long-term recovery assessment of infrastructure systems and communities following Hurricane Harvey: Case study for the city of Port Aransas

     PI: Maria Koliou

In this proposal, a typical coastal community in Texas heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey will be monitored over a long period of time in order to collect data in real-time associated with the infrastructure systems repair as well as the community recovery. An important advantage of the real-time long-term monitoring of this coastal community will be the opportunity to also assess the cumulative damage and associated recovery trajectories of infrastructure systems in case of future wind, storm surge or flooding events in the duration of the monitoring. The goal of this RAPID project is to collect damage and socio-economic data, which will be the basis of developing, validating, and calibrating infrastructure and community modeling frameworks. This will be a longitudinal field study, with visits of four month frequency after the initial visit for a period of 1 year (and maybe continued for longer based on the project direction and funding). Due to the geographic proximity, Dr. Koliou and her PhD student were able to perform visits within the first few weeks and conduct damage assessments in neighborhoods of varying socio-economic characteristics as well as business areas, which is of great importance to the performance of this study and respective data collection protocol. By including multiple visits to the impacted area in this research project, the homeowner decision factors over time will be accounted for in the community scale simulations to accurately predict the post-disaster community functionality. With the long-term access to this community, the overall framework as well as the individual components will be validated continually and updated where necessary. Furthermore, cumulative effects on future climate-related events that may impact the coastal community will be monitored and accounted for in the functionality and recovery simulations.

 

Community Resilience Collaborative: A Systems-Oriented Post-Event Assessment of Community Resilience

     PI: Burak Güneralp

Objectives of this research are to: (1) assess the impacts of interactions among prevailing socio-political and biophysical factors during and immediately after Hurricane Harvey, (2) create scientific knowledge to enable city officials, and private and social sector urban actors to understand, not only the risks they face within their own sector, but also how risks are transmitted across sectors through interdependencies between existing infrastructures and institutions (the knowledge thus created will serve as a basis to explore opportunities for building greater community resilience in the study area), develop a systemic framework that facilitates shared understanding among experts and stakeholders to develop an adaptation-focused strategy to future extreme events to increase community resilience, and (4) transfer the framework to other communities across the Texas Coast –and then beyond.

We will conduct a post-event assessment with explicit attention afforded to feedbacks among the physical (water, energy, transportation, and dwelling infrastructure), economic, social, and institutional structures. Our post-event assessment will be based on an hybrid approach that meshes i) the post event review capability (PERC), a novel framework recently implemented in floods in North Carolina, the UK, and Central Europe, and 2) qualitative systems analysis (also known as collaborative or mediated causal mapping) that relies on soft systems thinking to identify the most critical interactions among system components in collaboration with stakeholders.

PERC seeks to answer questions related to aspects of resilience, risk management and catastrophe intervention. Through a PERC, we will examine what has worked well (identifying best practice) during and immediately after Harvey and what failed to meet expectations offering opportunities for further improvements. Causal mapping will allow us to explicitly recognize these connections and identify potential feedback interactions that may have played critical roles in system performance. Based on the nature of interactions identified during the causal mapping phase/component, the stakeholders may agree on a prioritization (in terms of funding and urgency) scheme to address the deficiencies observed and experienced during the disaster response and recovery. 

Affiliated Programs and Faculty

Program Affiliations

The CRC is affiliated with the following centers, academic entities and federal programs:

  • Center for Housing and Urban Development
  • Center for Texas Beaches and Shores
  • Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center
  • Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy
  • Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Gulf of Mexico Region
  • Public Policy Research Institute
  • Texas A&M University at Galveston
  • Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service
  • Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Texas A&M University College of Architecture
  • Texas A&M University College of Engineering
  • Texas A&M University College of Geosciences
  • Texas A&M University College of Liberal Arts
  • Texas A&M University School of Law 
    • Real Estate and Community Development
    • Program in Natural Resources Systems
  • Texas A&M University School of Public Health

 

Texas A&M University Faculty Affiliates

Lisa Alexander, Professor, School of Law, Real Estate and Community Development Program

Phil Berke, Director, Institute for Sustainable Communities

Samuel Brody, Director, Center for Texas Beaches and Shores

John Cooper, Director and Associate Professor of Practice, Texas Target Communities

Jens Figlus, Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering

Kirby Goidel, Director, Public Policy Research Institute

Burak Guneralp, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

Inci Guneralp, Associate Professor, Department of Geography

Wes Highfield, Associate Director, Center for Texas Beaches and Shores

Jennifer Horney, Department Head, School of Public Health

Dawn Jourdan, Executive Associate Dean, College of Architecture

Ali Mostafavidarani, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Timothy Mulvaney, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, School of Law

Galen Newman, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Walt Peacock, Director, Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center

Kent Portney, Director, Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Ashley Ross, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Sciences

Courtney Thompson, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

Shannon Van Zandt, Department Head, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Sierra Woodruff, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Maria Koliou, Assistant Professor, Zachry Department of Civil Engineering 

Gabriel Eckstein, Director of Program in Natural Resources Systems, Texas A&M School of Law

CRC Sponsors

The Community Resilience Collaborative is grateful to the following sponsors who actively support CRC and its activities:

CRC_sponsors logos

Cindy Lyle

For More Information:

Cynthia Lyle

Senior Associate Director and Extension Leader

cynthia.lyle@tamu.edu

(979) 845-3855