Recognizing that coastal issues are critical to the future of Texas, The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today approved creation of the Texas A&M Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities. The new institute, formally labeled the ISCC, will be a joint initiative between the Texas A&M University College of Architecture and Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG). It will provide a coastally located research unit for producing transformative knowledge, training interdisciplinary thinkers and interfacing with local communities. “This new institute will serve as a living laboratory that brings together research activities of multiple centers at Texas A&M and TAMUG,” Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said in presenting the proposal to the regents. “It should provide vital information for local communities, organizations and other stakeholders along the Texas coast, building on both the university’s land-grant and sea-grant statuses.” The ISCC will conduct coastal research that will engage and benefit local communities on the Texas coast, and its projects will seek to achieve a better understanding of how to establish and design sustainable and resilient coastal communities, places and landscapes in Texas and around the world. It will bring together and leverage research activities of multiple centers in Texas A&M’s College of Architecture and the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at TAMUG. The cornerstone of the ISCC will be the continued development of the Texas Coastal Communities Planning Atlas that deals with key coastal issues critical to Texas. This mapping tool, developed by Sam Brody, holder of the George P. Mitchell Chair in Sustainable Coast and current director of the Texas Center for Beaches Shores, is available online.
Brody is the proposed director of the ISCC. The new coastal institute will bring together faculty from multiple centers and departments on the two campuses, including the Departments of Landscape and Urban Planning, Construction Science, Architecture and Visualization and involvement will include the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, the Center for Housing and Urban Development and the Center for Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M, and the Marine Sciences and Marine Biology departments at TAMUG. In addition, other Texas A&M affiliates, such as the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Texas Sea Grant, will be involved with the ISCC. University officials expect the ISCC can be created and operate with no additional institutional funds. Possible sources for external funding will include groups that have supported similar research activities in the past, such as NOAA, NASA, the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas General Land Office and others. ##### Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644