(Photo by Evan Krape/courtesy of UDaily)
There’s a shortage of coastal engineers — and that could spell trouble sooner than later, as extreme weather and sea levels rise.
University of Delaware Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Jack Puleo wants to avoid that by stirring up interest in the field among the potential next generation of coastal engineers at high schools up and down the Eastern Seaboard, UDaily reports.
Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes is one of 12 schools in seven states (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida) to receive a wave flume and course component developed by Puleo with support from the Office of Naval Research.
The devices, which create a cross section of a shoreline that can be used to gather data about how waves work, are found in oceanography labs and science museums — but not so much in schools, where they can inspire students to join a STEM field that needs more talent.
“As a consultant and business owner, we can’t hire enough talent because the talent doesn’t exist,” said Michael Poff, a graduate of UD’s coastal engineering program and president of Coastal Engineering Consultants, in an interview with UDaily. Poff works with Puleo to deliver wave flumes to selected high schools.
Central High School in Philadelphia also recently received a wave flume courtesy of Puleo.
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