About Us

Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience (ICAR)

ICAR, a national center for the science and practice of coastal resilience at Old Dominion University, launched in 2018 to leverage ODU faculty’s disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary breadth in leading research, education, and community partnerships to develop practical solutions to challenges faced by coastal communities.

ICAR builds on over eight years of investment and commitment by Old Dominion to leadership in coastal adaptation and resilience.


The Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience advances the practice of coastal resilience and adaptation by engaging with communities, organizations, and businesses to develop and deploy solutions based on integrated, innovative, and applied research.


ICAR catalyzes the action needed to build vibrant communities, strong economies, and healthy ecosystems across the Commonwealth of Virginia despite natural hazards and climate change.

Timeline of ODU's investment and commitment to leadership in coastal adaptation and resilience

  • 2010

    • Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI) created to “bring the university and the region’s foremost experts together to find solutions to the challenges facing our region and other regions globally” - President Broderick
  • 2011

    • ODU Office of Research provides multidisciplinary research seed grants for SLR projects
  • 2012

    • ODU, HRPDC and Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) host first Sea Level Rise/Flooding Adaptation Forum (continuously held quarterly since 2012)
  • 2013

    • ODU faculty/staff support the Commonwealth of Virginia Recurrent Flooding Sub-panel and Workgroups
    • ODU and VASG establish partnership for Climate Adaptation and Resilience Outreach Program
  • 2014

    • Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project established and supported by ODU
    • Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (OEAS) Department hosts NSF Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program focusing on climate change and sea level rise in a coastal urban environment
    • ODU hosts TechSurge Conference on National Coastal Resiliency
  • 2015

    • ODU and Hampton Roads Urban Land Institute co-host Hampton Roads Resilient Region Reality Check
    • ODU hosts Collaborations for Community Resilience even
  • 2016

    • ODU co-organizes workshop on Engineering, Design and Implementation of Natural Coastal Infrastructure Solutions in Hampton Roads
    • Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency (CCRFR) established as partnership between ODU, VIMS, William & Mary
    • ODU and Virginia Space Grant co-sponsor BLAST (Building Leaders to Advance Science and Technology) summer program for rising 9th and 10th graders focused on climate change and sea level rise resilience
    • ODU Resilience Collaborative created to replace CCSLRI and expand ODU’s focus on broader resilience issues
  • 2017

    • ODU, VASG, and Virginia Coastal Policy Center host event on Building University–Community Partnerships for Resilience
  • 2018

    • ICAR established as a national center
  • 2021

    • ODU announces that Jessica Whitehead has been named the Joan P. Brock Endowed founding executive director of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience (ICAR).