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Institute for Coastal Science and Policy (ICSP)

**Postdoctoral Research Opportunities**

**Undergraduate Funding Available!**

Neuse MarshHistory of organization

The ECU Institute for Coastal Science and Policy (ICSP) was established in summer of 2007 to initiate, promote, and coordinate interdisciplinary research on all aspects of riverine, estuarine, coastal, and shallow marine environments. The goal is to enhance understanding of the complex interactions between human behavior and the coastal environment and its resources, and to draw on this understanding to develop sound public policy.



ICSP is an umbrella organization that seeks to enhance the interdisciplinary teaching, research and outreach activities of ECU faculty members who are involved in coastal studies.


The PhD Program in Coastal Resources Management is the educational arm of the Institute. The program provides an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to coastal studies that emphasizes the role of science in public policy. As the only program of its kind in the nation, the CRM program provides the academic basis for students seeking resource management careers in government agencies, private firms, nonprofit organizations, and interdisciplinary educational programs.


Research in the Institute concentrates on four main areas and their interrelationships: (1) coastal ecology focuses on near-shore and estuarine ecological interactions important for living marine resources and environmental quality; (2) coastal geoscience emphasizes coastal processes, geomorphology, climatology, and hydrology as they affect the use and development of watersheds, the coastal plain, barrier islands and aquatic systems; (3) social science and coastal policy examines politics and public policy, natural resource economics, coastal hazards, tourism, and demographic and social behaviors as they relate to coastal resources management; and (4) maritime studies identifies cultural and historical dimensions of coastal resources with an emphasis on maritime history, nautical archeology, and the role of maritime cultural heritage in coastal use and development.


Outreach is an important role of the Institute. Research findings and policy recommendations are communicated to the public, and to organizations and agencies outside the university through faculty presentations, workshops, conferences and the support of a communications and an outreach specialist. Participation on panels, commissions, committees, etc, for federal, state and local government agencies is a particularly significant part of the Institute’s outreach program.


Some statistics

  • ICSP has 15 faculty members, and participation by more than 60 ECU faculty members who teach and conduct research on a wide range of coastal topics.
  • ICSP has nine technical and support staff and several additional technical staff in affiliated departments support Institute activities.
  • More than 20 laboratories are used by ICSP faculty members.
  • The operating budget of ICSP in its inaugural year exceeds $1.6 million.
  • ICSP operates a boat pool with 20 vessels equipped for various sampling, coring and surveying activities and capable of operating in estuarine and inner shelf waters. The fleet is managed through the Office of Diving and Water Safety.
  • Ten students have graduated from the Coastal Resources Management PhD program since its inception in 1999.
  • Twelve current and former CRM students are working in state and federal coastal management agencies, and seven are involved in higher education.

Neuse SunsetEconomic Impact

Without a specific study, it is difficult to estimate with confidence the economic impact of ICSP on the region and state. It is abundantly clear, however, that it is substantial as suggested by the following examples: (1) The findings of intensive research into coastal process over the past several years have helped ECU faculty associated with ICSP to provide advice concerning the reengineering of Highway 12 and the replacement of Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet; (2) Similarly, research findings of ICSP faculty have contributed to deliberations of the NC Coastal Resources Commission, which is developing management recommendations for every inlet along North Carolina’s coast; (3) The past several years of interdisciplinary/interinstitutional research involving a team of 20 scientists have provided data and understanding that have informed the discussions of the North Carolina Legislative Commission on Climate Change whose report will include recommendations dealing with the economic development of the coast.







John D. Rummel

Institute for Coastal Science and Policy (Biology)





ICSP Coastal Resources Management Phd Program

Lauriston King, Political Science

Lolly Williams, Program Assistant


Institute Core Faculty

Jennifer Brewer, Geography 

Reide Corbett, Geological Sciences

Jeff Johnson, Sociology

David Griffith, Anthropology

David Kimmel, Biology

Joe Luczkovich,  Biology

Alex Manda, Geological Sciences

Ryan Mulligan, Geological Sciences

Enrique Reyes, Biology

Roger Rulifson, Biology

J.P. Walsh, Geological Sciences


Institute Staff

Chris Cooper, Research Assistant

Kay Evans, Administrative Support Associate

Cindy Harper, Financial Manager

Terri Hathaway, Sea Grant/CSI*

Laura McKenna, Research Technician

Sara Mirabilio, Sea Grant/CSI*

Tim Runyan, NOAA Detailee

Chad Smith, APNEP CM Prog. Coordinator

Tracy Van Holt, Postdoctoral Associate


ECU Diving and Water Safety

Steve Sellers, Director

Mark Keusenkothen, Diving Safety Officer

Eric Diaddorio, Research Vessel Captain

Mike Baker, Marine Dock Master

Gwen Bibbs, Executive Assistant