CEE Graduate Student Receives Multiple Recognitions

Timu Gallien researching urban coastal flood models

Timu W. Gallien, a fourth year Ph.D. student working under the direction of Professor Brett F. Sanders, Ph.D., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), has been recognized for her research by multiple entities. She is the 2011 recipient of The Robert L. Wiegel Scholarship for Coastal Studies awarded by the California Shore and Beach Preservation Association (CSBPA) and named for Robert L. Wiegel, Professor Emeritus of Coastal Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Gallien is also one of seven recipients of The Newkirk Center for Science and Society Fellowship Award at UC Irvine, established with a generous endowment provided by Martha and James Newkirk.

Gallien’sresearch, “Parcel Scale Coastal Inundation Modeling: Empowering Informed Decision Making Through Accurate Flood Mapping,” focuses on the development and validation of urban coastal flood models which are responsive to sea level rise, storm surge and wave forcing while concurrently considering the effects of flood mitigation structures and practices. The specific objective of her research is to accurately predict parcel scale flooding of future climatological and hydrodynamic conditions in an urban coastal setting. The resulting flood maps empower municipalities, policymakers and individuals to evaluate the effects of climate change, the efficacy of proposed adaptation strategies and to assess the societal impacts of coastal flooding.

“More frequent coastal flooding can be expected in the coming decades, and urban areas in particular have a lot at stake in terms of infrastructure and assets,” says Professor Sanders. “Better flood mapping tools are needed to evaluate when and where the costs to save a particular region will be justified by its benefits. Timu’s work will also contribute to improved emergency preparedness, which will help to limit the adverse impacts of future flood events.”

The CSBPA is a state chapter of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA):  “The ASBPA recognizes that the shores, beaches and other coastal resources of America provide important quality-of-life assets within the reach of the largest possible number of people in accordance with the ideals of a democratic nation. This Association is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the beaches, shores and other coastal resources of America.”

The Newkirk Fellowship promotes appropriate and effective uses of research in the natural and social sciences to enhance the quality of human life. For more information on The Newkirk Center for Science and Society, please visit www.newkirkcenter.uci.edu.