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Flagler College announces Kahler Award to Melissa Southwell

Jan 4, 2018
by Jordan Puyear, ‘17

Flagler College announced that it has awarded Melissa Southwell, associate professor of Natural Sciences, the 2018 Kahler Grant for her proposal “Shoreline Development and Coastal Hazards.”

The award will allow Southwell to support research, writing and dissemination of the results of her project. Southwell plans on studying “shoreline armoring,” or the construction of seawalls, bulkheads, and other hard structures to protect against erosion. 

“As you can imagine, there is increased discussion about this since we have endured two hurricanes in two years,” Southwell said. “In my project, students and faculty will work together to create a detailed map of coastal armoring around St. Augustine, along with data on sediment chemical characteristics and physical parameters like beach slope.”

Southwell explains the goal of her project is to form a long-term dataset of coastal change in the area to assess how the armoring affects the energy of the system and the coast itself.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected for this grant, and am excited to begin investigating these questions that are so urgent for our coastal community,” Southwell said.

The Kahler fund allows full-time faculty to pursue advanced academic pursuits.

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