Mason Named a Virginia Sea Grant Institution

Posted: November 30, 2011 at 1:04 am, Last Updated: November 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

By Erin Cushing

Mason has a new title to add to its ever-growing list of accolades and accreditations. The university has been named a Virginia Sea Grant institution.

The Virginia Sea Grant (VASG), based at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences in Gloucester Point, Va., works to protect Virginia’s coastal climate and ecology through partnerships with research institutions.

VASG finances and runs research and outreach programs centered on safe and sustainable seafood, healthy coastal and marine ecosystems, sustainable coastal communities and coastal and ocean literacy. VASG is concerned with ensuring healthy coasts, not just for the marine life that inhabits them, but also for the communities that depend on them.

Other Virginia Sea Grant institutions are Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech.

Mason’s first role as a VASG partner is as lead institution for the Community Adaptation to Sea-Level Rise and Inundation (CASI) project. Investigators from several institutions will be researching how to better communicate to the public the effects of sea-level rise along the coast of Anne Arundel County, Md., in order to facilitate decision-making for policies that can minimize impact and protect resources.

“George Mason University is increasingly becoming a leader in marine science and the policy and social science of coastal adaptation to climate change,” says Mason environmental science and policy doctoral candidate and co-investigator Karen Akerlof. “Partnering with Sea Grant recognizes the university’s growing regional role in these areas and provides more opportunities for knowledge-sharing, collaboration and research.”

She adds, “Working with Sea Grant is a fantastic opportunity for our team to conduct research on public engagement in the development of community policies to address sea-level rise.”

Learn more about the Virginia Sea Grant at the website.

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