When It Rains, It Pours: A Socio-Environmental Approach to Understanding Coastal Flooding

Jan 02, 2015
Elizabeth A. Albright, Emily Eisenhauer, Melissa A. Kenney, Ariana E. Sutton-Grier

This case is an introduction for students on socioeconomic systems using coastal flooding as a model system.  The students are presented with the real case of Miami Beach, in South Florida, which is experiencing increased flooding, both at higher high tides and with storm surge.  The case is designed to provide a guided introduction to socio-environmental conceptual modeling for students with no previous background, and a conflict negotiation case extension for upper-level undergraduate students or graduate students. The students will be expected to work in teams to develop a conceptual model in small groups, and then again in synthesis groups, and then finally work together as a class. For the conflict negotiation extension to the case, students research the interests of a stakeholder group to role-play a flood management group decision-making process.  The case is designed primarily to be coupled with formative assessments as the students prepare and complete the exercises in class.

Estimated time frame: 
A few class periods
SES learning goals: 
  • Understand the structure and behavior of socio-environmental systems
  • Co-develop research questions and conceptual models in inter- or trans-disciplinary teams
Course and class size: 
Global climate change and coastal indicators (upper level undergraduate): 10 students
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