252-475-5400

Coastal Ecology Lab

Research Lab Overview

I am broadly interested in understanding how humans modify the coastal environment and how best to manage or mitigate the ecological consequences of those modifications to sustain ecosystem structure, functions, and services. I am particularly excited about identifying novel approaches for conserving and restoring coastal habitats and supported services in the context of developed coastal areas (e.g. evaluating designs and implementation of living shorelines, testing the methods and criteria for successful ecosystem restoration). Through collaborations with fellow ecologists, social scientists, policymakers, and coastal engineers, I am continuing to explore the ecological and social drivers of coastal development and associated shoreline hardening, as well as identifying ecological, engineering, political, and socioeconomic barriers to the implementation of natural and nature-based alternatives. Additionally, I am currently investigating the role of facilitation and novel materials in determining the success or failure of coastal habitat restoration. I am also part of an interdisciplinary and cross-sector working group focused on synthesizing data on coastal habitat restoration projects to inform decision-making and development of achievable metrics and approaches for aligning ecological and social restoration goals.

Contact Information:

Dr. Rachel Gittman
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Coastal Studies Institute
2208 Flanagan Building
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
gittmanr17@ecu.edu
https://gittmanlab.weebly.com/

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.

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ECU’s Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU’s Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.

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The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.

FACILITIES

SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS

 

The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.

MEET THE TEAM

The CSI Board of Directors consists of professionals with strong backgrounds in coastal issues including research, development, outreach, education, and policies that affect coastal communities. The Board promotes the UNC System’s mission in helping it serve the people of North Carolina at a high level of excellence in every area of endeavor at the Coastal Studies Institute. The Board meets twice a year to discuss the projects and progress of CSI.

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Contact Us

Contact Info

The Coastal Studies Institute
850 NC 345
Wanchese, NC 27981

252-475-5400

info@coastalstudiesinstitute.com

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