Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

Science. Policy. Education. Outreach. Coastal.

The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University takes a worldwide view of modern coastal processes and geologic hazards, examines the scientific basis for managing developed shorelines in a time of rising sea level and advocates for the development and implementation of responsible strategies, plans, policies and actions that promote the long-term sustainability of our nation’s coastal ecosystems.

In the Spotlight

Rodanthe Buyout Study

Read our recent white paper on The Potential Cost/Benefits of Buyouts in Rodanthe, North Carolina!

Peek Driving Force Behind Cooperative Effort with NPS

Coastal Scientist Katie Peek featured for her work helping to develop protocol for assessing the vulnerability of coastal hazards and sea level rises at National Parks.

Rebuilt Beach Nourishment Database

Our rebuilt and revised Beach Renourishment database page is active! Learn more about renourishment projects on US coastlines.

Rob Young at CivicCon in Pensacola

During a CivicCon presentation at The REX Theatre, Young talked about some of the problems caused by climate change and the problems with the economic approaches the U.S is using to address it. “If you want to make a difference about some of the (environmental) issues that we’re talking about tonight,” said Young, “keep in mind that you’ve got to make it real for people.”

Hallowed Ground

“What we do know is each grave represents someone who lived and who died before the Civil War. Someone who had an occupation, someone who drank from the spring, someone who looked up at the stars.”

NPR Weekend Edition

Is Rebuilding Storm-Struck Coastlines Worth The Cost?

Featuring Director Rob Young

Coastal Hazards & SLR Vulnerability Assessment Protocol

Our protocol, published in 2022, evaluates the vulnerability of NPS buildings and transportation assets to sea-level rise, flooding, and shoreline change. 

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments in the NPS

An integrated review for infrastructure, natural resources, and cultural resources (2022)

PSDS Image Bank

The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines maintains a collection of images associated with out work. We make these images available to interested parties, but are in the process of rebuilding our library and improving access. In the meantime, if you have a specific need, please reach out to us by email.

Marine Vulnerability Assessment of Cumberland Island National Seashore

The goal of this project was to develop a methodology framework for assessing the vulnerability of NPS-managed marine habitats, beginning with a pilot project at Cumberland Island National Seashore.

SLR Report on Coastal National Parks

This project focused on identifying NPS assets that may be threatened by a future 1 m rise in sea level within 40 coastal units. 

Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines
Old Student Union
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723