Mohamed Nasheed

Sea level awareness

UD observes statewide Sea Level Rise Awareness Week, Sept. 14-22

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1:42 p.m., Sept. 17, 2013--The University of Delaware will mark the statewide observance of Sea Level Rise Awareness Week, Sept. 14-22, with a free screening of the award-winning documentary film The Island President and a special “Campus Voices” interview with state climatologist Dan Leathers. 

The events coincide with the S.O.S. Delaware campaign to raise public awareness about sea level rise and its impact on Delaware sponsored this week by 14 environmental organizations in the state and endorsed by the Delaware General Assembly.

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Dan Leathers, professor of geography in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and co-founder of the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS), will be a guest on WVUD’s “Campus Voices” program on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 8:30 a.m. He will talk about his research group’s efforts to monitor climatic changes in Delaware and the surrounding region and provide warning systems for adverse weather events such as drought and floods to the state’s farmers, emergency managers, and citizens.

Hosted by Richard Gordon, manager of UD’s IT Communications Group, the program may be heard on the air at 91.3 FM, on the Internet via WVUD’s website, or as a podcast on iTunes.

On Sunday, Sept. 22, the Delaware Environmental Institute will host a screening of the 2011 documentary film The Island President beginning at 7p.m. in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory (ISE Lab) atrium. The event is open to the public, and complimentary popcorn and sodas will be served.

The film, which won the People’s Choice Award for documentaries at the Toronto Film Festival, chronicles Mohamed Nasheed’s first year in office as president of the Maldives, a nation of 1,200 low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean that would be rendered uninhabitable by a three-foot rise in sea level. The story culminates in Nasheed’s trip to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, providing a rare glimpse into the political horse-trading that goes on at such high-level global assemblies.

A short film titled Rising Tides: Delaware’s Response to Sea Level Rise will also be shown prior to the main feature. This film, produced locally by 302 Stories Inc. and UD supplemental faculty member Michael Oates, premiered this week as part of Sea Level Rise Awareness Week.

Members of the UD community and the general public who are interested in learning more about the measures residents can take to build resilient coastal communities in Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region are encouraged to attend Coast Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del. Hosted by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment and Delaware Sea Grant, the event features experts and exhibits on sea level and many other marine topics that will engage visitors in learning more about Delaware’s coastal resources.

UD researchers are at the forefront of sea level rise research, as highlighted in a recent issue of University of Delaware Research magazine. A special section of the magazine features a number of articles on natural and social scientists at UD who are working to understand and prepare for the many potential impacts of sea level rise. The public is also invited to follow @UDResearch on Twitter.

Article by Beth Chajes

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