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From Risk to Resilience: Connecting Communities to Coastal Hazards through Interactive and Immersive Design

A web search of ‘sea level rise news’ yields a range of alarming headlines. What these headlines don’t capture is the nature of on-the-ground dialogue happening in states, counties, and cities that are actively working to adapt to rising seas. These are the sea level rise stories of hope and action.

In order to increase awareness and use of this science by Washington communities and decision-makers, the Climate Impacts Group, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle Public Library and Seattle-based data visualization company Tableau have teamed up to create more engaging, immersive and interactive tools to help tell the stories of the science, risks and realities of regional sea level rise to a range of audiences. These stories are needed to deepen understanding of the real-world implications of rising seas and to facilitate the uptake and use of the best available sea level rise science across Washington state.

The project goal includes creating two interactive tools: one tool to communicate sea-level projections for 171 different coastal sites in Washington state and the other to create a public-facing virtual reality experience that showcase community-relevant impacts of future sea level rise to 2150 in the Duwamish River watershed.


Research Team

Heidi Roop

UW Climate Impacts Group

Peter Neff

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Paige Lavin

Graduate Student, UW School of Oceanography