James L. Davis

James L. Davis

Recipient of 2022 President's Global Innovation Fund

Co-Principal Investigator: Dorothy Peteet, School of Arts & Sciences

Project: "Collaborative studies of the causes and impacts of sea-level change in the Marmara Sea region"

Global Center: Istanbul

Project Description: Turkey is bordered by four major bodies of water: the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Marmara Sea. The coastal region surrounding Marmara (the "Marmara Region") has a large and growing urban population (including Istanbul) and a heavily built-up coastal infrastructure that supports significant economic activity, including shipping, fishing, and tourism. The Marmara Region also contains a large number of significant historical and cultural sites, a reflection of the region’s location at the crossroads of Asia and Europe.

The potential impact of sea-level rise (SLR) in the Marmara Region is of major concern. Climate change and SLR are, of course, global phenomena. However, assessment of regional economic and societal impact and adoption of sustainable mitigation solutions must be addressed locally. There is significant global variability in climate-related SLR, and there may be local climate-unrelated contributions that exacerbate climate-induced SLR.

This Planning Grant proposal seeks funds to support collaboration between academic researchers in Turkey and Columbia University, and regional stakeholders from Turkish industry and local government, with the goal of developing multiple investigations that (1) take advantage of combined local and global knowledge of the science related to SLR; (2) meet specific needs for risk and impact assessment of municipal stakeholders in the Marmara Region; and (3) explore connections to broader scientific (e.g., archeological) and social (e.g., public information) activities that could both advance the scientific goals as well as the societal impact of the proposed investigations.

This proposal is relevant to the Climate and Sustainability thematic area of the President’s Global Innovation Fund RFP. It has been developed in cooperation with the Columbia Global Center Istanbul, and with the support of the Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) which represents a number of potential academic partners and local stake-holders that will participate in the planning.