Eric Kretsch awarded Graduate Scholar Award at 7th International Climate Change

Kretsch at conference

Eric Kretsch, a Graduate Student in the Department of Marine Affairs, travelled to Vancouver, British Colombia on April 10th and 11th to present a poster at the Seventh International Climate Change. The conference explores technology, policy, strategic, and social responses to climate change; by bringing together some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners. Kretsch presented his poster on the economic impacts of climate change on port infrastructure. Kretsch was also awarded a Graduate Scholar Award, which are given to outstanding graduate students who have an active academic interest in the field of climate change research.



Stakeholder Involvement in Understanding the Economic Impacts of Climate Change and Storm Events on Maritime Infrastructure: Rhode Island Pilot Study

This project will develop and test a method to assess the regional economic impacts of climate change and storm events on maritime infrastructure. Direct costs to an economy are relatively understandable through data collection. However, it is often hard to collect data on indirect costs (e.g. loss of jobs, supply chain disruption, etc.) in a monetary value and assess regional economic impacts. This project will involve stakeholders by using surveying techniques and also include workshop sessions that will allow stakeholders to identify and evaluate economic impacts to their firms and what they perceive to be the impact on those they supply. As a pilot, we will be using stakeholders in the port of Providence, Rhode Island to test the method. The port of Providence is important to the maritime transportation network in New England. The port is located at the head of Narragansett Bay and is particularly vulnerable to storm surge impacts. This project will allow us to evaluate the regional impacts of a storm event on the state of Rhode Island. This will inform policy makers and help better understand needs in policy adaptation. The project will also allow us to evaluate a method involving stakeholders to assess economic impacts. The method can then be altered and refined and then used on different locations, if deemed to be a valuable tool in assessing economic impacts.