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Vincentians trained in the use of models to predict coastal issues

Vincentians trained in the use of models to predict coastal issues
Exhibition organized by the University of Liverpool at the Argyle International Airport

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Several Vincentians are now better equipped to monitor and predict coastal issues after a training course organised by the University of Liverpool.

Benefiting from the training are persons attached to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard, the Argyle International Airport (AIA) and the Port Authority. The group received training in the use of models which predict coastal issues.

Vincentians trained in the use of models to predict coastal issues

The training was carried out by Andy Plater, head of the Department of Geography and Planning at University of Liverpool.

Plater, speaking about the training last week, during the opening of a coastal resilience exhibition at the AIA, said his team’s mission here is to make coastal infrastructure and communities more resilient to the effects of extreme events like storms, hurricanes, and climate change.

He said monitoring is important because that is one of the ways in which data is gathered and the data is important in providing information so that persons can understand the threats to the coast, the rate at which it erodes, sediment transfer patterns and so forth.

“It is through that combination of monitoring and modelling that we feed into the better design of better coastal communities, coastal infrastructure which include transport infrastructure such as that which we have here at the AIA,” said Plater.

Plater noted that the training course for capacity development was initiated so there would be a much greater capacity and ability on the part of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to do their own modelling and research.

The training was funded through the Commonwealth Marine Economist Program (CMEP).

Plater also stressed that part of his mission is to protect future generations of coastal populations and he was pleased to collaborate with the AIA.

It was also revealed that in SVG, there is a network of different monitoring instruments at different locations. These instruments include tide gauges and wave riders. Plater also revealed that there is some level of characterization in a few locations.

The visiting team included Amani Becker, Research Impact Fellow in Coastal Resilience Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool; Dani Arribas-Bel, Senior Lecturer in Geographic Data Science at the University of Liverpool; and Ben Phillips who is based at the University of Liverpool and the National Oceanography Centre. Phillips is a PhD student researching the future vulnerability of evolving gravel barrier coastlines and the impacts for flood risk management.

Phillips is looking at the vulnerability of the AIA runway in relation to river flooding and storm surge flood hazards. The team, which also plans to visit Grenada, conducted a series of school visits while here.

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