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Geography Alumnus Completes Coastal Atlas

coverScott Hemmerling, who is the Director of People, Resources & Technology for The Water Institute of the Gulf, has completed a stunning atlas focused on the resources, economics, and demographics of the Louisiana coast.  Published by LSU Press, the volume seeks to foreground the important role of people in a region that has received ample research on its ecology, geomorphology, and hydrology.  Using powerful and colorful cartographic images, Dr. Hemmerling showcases risks, vulnerabilities, resilience, and changing economic patterns.  His work addresses the long-neglected human aspects of a region facing a perilous future due to coastal land loss and sea-level rise.

He draws upon a massive amount of historical data to visualize the dynamic nature of society on the state’s coastal margin.  By tracing changing employment and residential patterns since the 1950s, he depicts the impacts of hazardous events like hurricanes and also the influences of global economic forces on resource-based livelihoods.  Such events have driven adaptation among those who live in the coastal region.  Ultimately, it shows how historical processes can inform planners to more effectively plan for, respond to, and recover form future extreme events and slow changes.

scott-hemmerlingScott received his degree from LSU in 2007.  His dissertation focused on environmental justice in the coastal region and was sponsored by the Minerals Management Service (now BOEMS).  Before joining the Water Institute, Scott worked for the U.S. Geological Survey.

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