Poonam Arora Among Those to Receive $5M NSF Grant on Climate Change

The O’Malley School of Business professor aims to engage communities to enable coastal resilience.

Portrait photo of Poonam AroraPoonam Arora, Ph.D., professor and department chair of management and marketing, along with researchers from six other institutions, has been awarded a five-year, $5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The grant seeks to understand the socio-environmental and economic drivers affecting resilience to coastal hazards in North Carolina.

Grant funding will support work to strengthen coastal resilience in communities along the Albemarle-Pamlico estuary system of coastal North Carolina. The project, led by East Carolina University, will also include the creation of the Coastal Environmental Justice Institute, serving as the central coordinating hub to create connections within the community, coordinate service opportunities, and communicate with community stakeholders. 

At Manhattan College, the focus will be on how STEM and non-STEM fields (business and management) can be integrated to better prepare and inform the next generation of decision makers in the community. 

“This is a great opportunity for our students to experience sustainability as a value driver for businesses, an important theme for the O’Malley School of Business in a real-world setting,” Arora said. The research, funded as part of the Coastlines and People (CoPe) initiative, integrates behavioral decision making, hydrological science, and systems modeling to help vulnerable coastal communities. 

The team of academic researchers is working across many fields, with experts in environmental and marine science, business and management, to enhance resilience for marginalized populations that are often disproportionately affected by poor water quality, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and rising sea levels. 

By Pete McHugh