The January 2023 installment of the “Science on the Sound” Lecture Series will be held at 6pm on January 19 at the Coastal Studies Institute on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. This monthly, in-person, lecture series brings perspectives from all over the state and highlights coastal topics in northeastern North Carolina. This month’s featured speaker is Dr. Siddharth (Sid) Narayan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Coastal Studies at East Carolina University, and his presentation is entitled “Forces of Nature: The Role Ecosystems Play in Protecting Coastlines and Communities”.
Hurricanes are a part of our lives on the coast – here in NC, down to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and the world over. To reduce damages from hurricanes, humans have built seawalls and levees for hundreds of years. However, it is impractical, and undesirable, to armor all of our shorelines with seawalls and levees and we are also realizing the damage that such armoring can do to our natural ecosystems. Meanwhile, coastal engineers and scientists are also learning how these ecosystems themselves often act as a first line of defense against storm damage, by reducing the volume and intensity of storm surges and high waves as they approach land. In this program, Dr. Narayan will explore the role that coastal ecosystems like tidal salt marshes, mangrove forests, and oyster and coral reefs play in protecting coastal communities, their homes, and critical infrastructure during hurricanes and other extreme events.
Prior to his position at ECU, Dr. Narayan first received an MSc in Coastal Engineering and Management from T.U. Delft in the Netherlands before completing a Ph.D. in coastal flood modeling at the University of Southampton, U.K. He spent the next four years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz working on nature-based adaptation to coastal hazards. Now in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, his work focuses on modeling and measuring the physical and economic effectiveness of adaptation strategies to coastal hazards and sea-level rise, particularly nature-based adaptation.

For those unable to attend, the program will be live-streamed, as well as archived for later viewing, on the CSI YouTube Channel.

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.



Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T University.  Click on the links below for more information.




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.


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.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


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.