Old Dominion University announced that Jessica Whitehead has been named the Joan P. Brock Endowed Executive Director of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience (ICAR).
Whitehead joins ODU from the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR), where she served as its first chief resilience officer. Her new appointment marks another chapter in ODU's decade-long leadership in coastal resilience research, education and outreach.
Launched in 2019, ICAR provides an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to addressing pressing issues for the regional coastal communities. The combination of a research university in a key coastal area inspired a decade of investment and commitment by ODU, led by President John R. Broderick, to advance fundamental and applied study in the areas of sea-level rise and coastal resilience. This interdisciplinary approach, with its array of immediate real-world application opportunities, was formalized with the launch of ICAR.
"The creation of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience marked the culmination of a decade of work and the fulfillment of a vision shared with my late friend and colleague, Dr. Larry Atkinson, with whom I initiated the University's coastal resiliency effort," President Broderick said.
"The appointment of Dr. Whitehead as the Joan P. Brock Endowed Executive Director enables us to build upon Larry's legacy of helping communities threatened by sea-level rise by fostering research, leveraging resources, building connections and leading efforts to turn world-class science into global practice."
As part of the innovative collaboration and memorandum of understanding between ICAR and the City of Norfolk, Whitehead will also collaborate closely with the city staff and leadership to use Norfolk as a testbed for resilience policies, strategies and technologies. This partnership will enable ODU faculty to directly connect to the city as a natural lab for innovative technologies and practices and will support applied faculty research and student projects that leverage Old Dominion's strengths in modeling and simulation, economics, engineering and more to build resilience in Norfolk's neighborhoods. ICAR will look to learn from and build upon this partnership to engage additional municipalities and communities throughout the region and beyond.Read more >