RENCI at East Carolina opened in 2007 and gave the RENCI virtual organization its first presence in a coastal region of North Carolina. Working with researchers at the RENCI anchor site in Chapel Hill and with faculty and community groups in the Greenville area, RENCI at ECU concentrates on studying coastal disasters. By bringing together researchers in a wide range of disciplines, staff at this new site collaborate with others within RENCI to develop a better understanding of how the physical landscape, biological coastal processes, human activity, and demographics impact the environment, the local economy, and human life when disasters hit the coast.
The goal of RENCI at ECU is to build and maintain an integrated North Carolina coastal informatics system that includes public health records; records of geological, biological, and chemical processes; information about human activity, attitudes, social networks, and population densities; and inventories of disaster response resources. RENCI at ECU also builds partnerships with businesses, educational institutions, government, and the general public that advance disaster research efforts and enable education and economic development. RENCI at ECU's goal is to reduce the economic impact and loss of life caused by coastal disasters and improve the lives and livelihoods of North Carolinians.
RENCI at ECU Mission
To support research and outreach that improves understanding of the interaction between physical, biological, and human processes in North Carolina's coastal region, especially as the processes relate to coastal disasters.
RENCI at ECU Vision Statement
RENCI at ECU will support focused research on the relationship between disasters and physical, biological, and human coastal systems. This will transcend any single research discipline. Second, RENCI at ECU will engage the public of eastern North Carolina to identify important needs and implement solutions.
Current and Upcoming Research Areas
- Storm Surge Visualization
- Coastal Erosion
- Sea-Level Rise
Previous Years' Research Areas
- Coastal Disaster Impact on Public Health (PHS)
- Coastal Environmental Modeling (CEM)
- Coastal Hazards and Human Dynamics (HHD)
- Pollution in Coastal Environments (PCE)
Outcomes of the RENCI-ECU Partnership
- Development of an interdisciplinary RENCI Regional Engagement Center at East Carolina University with expertise, resources, and capacity to reduce disaster losses in the eastern North Carolina region, thereby developing methods applicable to other areas of the state and nation.
- Creation of an integrated disaster informatics system, including a comprehensive medical/health inventory that will have specific products to improve the prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery phases of a disaster.
- Enhancement of the regional economic growth in eastern North Carolina by developing strategies to mitigate the impact of disasters.
- Prediction and monitoring of changes in the coastal environment and ecology, including changes in land configuration and mass and habitat loss.
- Modeling, tracking, and development of strategies to reduce pollution in coastal environments with its related impacts on human health, the economy, and business sectors.