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Publication Title

Marine Technology Society Journal








Sea level has been rising around the world, and in recent decades, the rate has been accelerating. Because rising seas have the potential to directly or indirectly affect the health of vast numbers of coastal communities and inhabitants, public health agencies and professionals—in conjunction with other fields—have a pivotal role to play in helping to protect populations, reduce and prevent health impacts, and foster resilience. This article discusses a novel effort that has been undertaken in Coastal Virginia to help prepare the next generation of public health professionals to grapple with sea level rise issues. The effort grew out of discussions of the importance of public health issues that took place through the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Pilot Project. The new training effort focuses on public health graduate level training and incorporates both classroom and practice-based components. Though still in its early stages, the sea level rise and public health training effort has already achieved significant successes and continues to grow. The article begins by examining sea level rise as a public health issue. This is followed by a discussion of the new public health training initiative in Coastal Virginia. The article closes by exploring future directions.


Reprinted with permission. The Marine Technology Society is a not-for-profit, international, professional association. Founded in 1963, the Society believes that the advancement of marine technology and the productive, sustainable use of the oceans depend upon the active exchange of ideas between government, industry and academia. See

Original Publication Citation

Becker, S. M. (2018). Improving public health readiness for sea level rise: A new initiative in coastal Virginia. Marine Technology Society Journal, 52(2), 84-91. doi:10.4031/MTSJ.52.2.9