Christine Avenarius is an associate professor of anthropology at East Carolina University. Her interest in understanding social and cultural change in reference to the interrelation between human cognition and social network structures has brought her from studies of the different adaptations to a reformed legal system in rural and urban China to the exploration of climate change and sea level rise perception among residents of North Carolina. As a graduate director she is particularly interested in engaging graduate students in the research process.
For more information on Dr. Avenarius' work please click here
On January 26, our interdisciplinary group was joined by Mitch Eaton, a research ecologist with the Southeast Climate Science Center. Mitch has been working with managers at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (CRNWR) in South Carolina to study land conservation strategies in response to rising sea levels. Similar to some of the National Wildlife Refuges on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula, CRNWR is primarily composed of coastal marshes; however, CRNWR is bounded on the inland side by the US-17 corridor. As such, the coastal marsh ecosystem and the many ecological services it provides are extremely vulnerable to rising sea level. Mitch is working with refuge managers to prioritize long-term management objectives in an attempt to develop management strategies that effectively meet those objectives. We plan to use similar approaches as we work on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula, but the objectives and conservation strategies likely will be different given the different environmental conditions, landscape context, and ownership patterns.