By Girish Sreevatsan Nandakumar, Graduate Research Assistant to Professor Michelle Covi.
The University-Community Partnerships to Build Community Coastal Resilience Program recently hosted its second networking event at Old Dominion University (ODU). The objective was to facilitate the creation of partnerships that would improve the capacity of community organizations to build resilience in the highly vulnerable coastal region. As with last year, there was great enthusiasm and interest among attendees.
“We were happy to see people from business, government, and nonprofit sectors come together with our academic partners,” says Dr. Michelle Covi, Assistant Professor of Practice in ODU’s Department of Ocean Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who was part of the program team that hosted the event. Dr. Wie Yusuf and Dr. Emily Eddins were additional key members of the program team. Covi is also an extension partner of Virginia Sea Grant (VASG).
“This is a great place for everyone involved in climate resilience to meet, share, and collaborate so we can work together. ODU is smart to put its students on these cutting edge projects to prepare them for the environmental challenges we will be working to solve for years to come,” says Karen Lindquist Lee from Greenstream Technologies, a local startup that produces flood level sensors that provide real-time data. The company was looking for interns and partnerships in the Hampton Roads area, and made new connections through the networking event.
Faculty and staff from Old Dominion University and a few other universities in the area pitched their interests and projects while other community partners observed, hoping to identify subjects they might be interested in. Participants included Catheryn Whitesell from the City of Virginia Beach, who was hoping to connect with prospective interns in the areas of process improvement, data analysis, information technology, and business resiliency. Representatives from the cities of Norfolk and Newport News, the Sierra Club and civic leagues were also present. The Resilience Partnership website will soon display the requirements and projects for anyone who might be interested in participating.
Attendees mingle, network and discuss ways to improve collaboration.