As is known, almost two-thirds of the major cities around the world are surrounded by coasts. Increase in population takes a toll on the cities, in turn, increases the pressure on coastal environments. Geoff Trussell is concerned about the current coastal scenario. He is the director of the Marine Science Center of Northeastern University. Along with it, he is also the chairperson of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Trussell earnestly discussed the new Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative. The second College of Science Colloquium series saw how UCSI is going to focus on sustainable science and proper planning of coasts in urban areas. “Ultimately our goal is to focus on the land-sea interface and look at how human activities at this critical boundary influence the sustainability of coastal ecosystems,” said Trussell.
This is a global issue, with around 90% of marine biodiversity being gradually depleted. To top this off, oceans are becoming warm and acidifying. The polar ice sheets are melting, causing a rise in sea levels. The Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative wants to find solutions to each and every challenge using an interdisciplinary approach. A lot of people are responding well, including new faculty members across the University. It is a lot helpful, as Northeastern is actively collaborating with other marine labs around the World.
“Scientists have historically examined environmental and ecological issues by establishing research outposts in pristine environments far away from human activity. The problem is that the fraction of environments impacted by human activity across the globe is growing. To achieve sustainability, we must focus on how humans and their environment interact,” he said.
Murray Gibson is quite impressed by the efforts of Trussell and the team. He thinks that they “have developed a great vision that will establish Northeastern and the Marine Science Center as a global leader in the arena of urban coastal sustainability”.