Mandli Projects 2

The goal of this REU project would be to help incorporate the massive amount of data made available to the project team from multiple sources allowing for additional New York City sites to be included in the initial validations and eventually act as tests for the optimization procedure. The participant would assist graduate research assistants to include the Brighton Beach neighborhood at the mouth of Jamaica Bay as well as South and Midland Beaches on Staten Island.  These areas were specifically targeted in previous studies with stakeholders in these areas and community outreach could easily be extended to include these areas.

In this NSF funded project we are developing a methodology that can help inform stakeholders as to how they might best formulate strategies for coastal adaptation that have the potential to both increase the resilience of interdependent critical infrastructure (ICI) and reduce harm while accounting for climate change impacts.  (1) formulate a new strategy for adaptation, (2) computationally determine flooding levels given an ensemble of storms representing the likely threat and future sea-level rise, (3) estimate the damage over the ensemble to the infrastructure considered, and (4) using appropriate metrics evaluate the relative suitability of a given strategy including cost and social acceptability.  This process would repeat iteratively until a sufficiently optimal strategy is found. Developing such a methodology will be challenging however. The magnitude of the computational effort needed is significant. Using a set of computational models that vary in accuracy and speed, the methodology will swap between models appropriate for the optimization stage. Stakeholder involvement is also being incorporated via interviews that will ask what components of the infrastructure system are most critical and/or vulnerable in their eyes as well as provide guidance as to how the results of the methodology would be best communicated.  Eventually this will also lead to community outreach efforts to communicate the potential of such approaches. This is all going to take place using New York City's complex infrastructure and recent events as both a validation test-bed as well as a test for the methodology.

Position Dates: 10 Week program during the summer of 2019

Paid Position: Yes, $800/Week

Qualifications: Knowledge of GIS systems, in particular ESRI ArcGIS, is required. Additional background in Python is recommended.  

Eligibility: Must be an undergraduate student and a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States.

Kyle T. Mandli, Assistant Professor

kyle.mandli@columbia.edu