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Drs. Donya Frank-Gilchrist and Legna Torres-Garcia of the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) presented a seminar to the Ocean Sciences department at the University of California Santa Cruz entitled “Natural Hazards Vulnerability Assessments Through Stakeholder Engagement in the Caribbean.”

Drs. Donya Frank-Gilchrist and Legna Torres-Garcia presented on two stakeholder engagement projects that they are co-leading.

Drs. Donya Frank-Gilchrist and Legna Torres-Garcia presented on two stakeholder engagement projects that they are co-leading: “Coastal Vulnerability Assessments in Puerto Rico: focused stakeholder engagement to foster equity and inclusion” and “Stakeholder Engagement for Natural Hazards Investigations in the Caribbean.” These projects were supported with funding from the USGS Risk Community of Practice and USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. The first project focuses on making natural hazards research, data, tools, and information more easily accessible to underserved communities in Puerto Rico. In addition, to better address natural hazards vulnerability in the U.S. Caribbean territories, their stakeholder engagement effort is being expanded through the second project to assess the feasibility for the USGS to conduct natural hazards research in the Caribbean through collaboration with U.S. territories and international partners in the region.

The ocean sciences seminar highlighted the use of scientific information by decision-makers to help mitigate coastal change impacts to local communities in Puerto Rico. The researchers presented their methodologies for engaging with stakeholders to improve the delivery of USGS coastal hazards resources and for developing collaborative relationships through roundtable discussions. The seminar was well-received by graduate students and faculty.

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