Skidaway Institute introduces new coastal management tools

Scientists from the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography have introduced a powerful new tool to monitor coastal erosion to coastal planners and managers.

The digital tool, AMBUR (Analyzing Moving Boundaries Using R), was developed to analyze shoreline change along barrier islands with complex shapes and highly curved shorelines.

“One of the issues in dealing with a constantly changing coastline, like ours here in Georgia, is just getting a good picture of the changes over time,” said Clark Alexander, a Skidaway Institute scientist. “AMBUR was developed to do just that.”

An analyst using AMBUR can take data from maps, aerial photographs or raw GPS data and use it to compute erosion and accretion rates in complex situations.

AMBUR was developed by Chester Jackson as his doctoral project at the University of Georgia. Jackson is currently on the faculty of Georgia Southern University and is a partner in this series of workshops. David Bush of the University of West Georgia is also working with Alexander and Jackson.

The three scientists introduced AMBUR to Georgia coastal managers and planners in a workshop in mid-November. Attendance included 8 GIS professionals representing Camden, Glynn, Chatham and McIntosh Counties, the City of Kingsland, the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Coastal Regional Council.

Workshop participants learn the art of beach profiling on Tybee Island beach.

Two additional workshops were held to present the program to non-governmental groups who are interested in monitoring shoreline changes. The two programs were held on Tybee Island and Jekyll Island, and attracted 16 interested observers representing Friends of Sapelo, the Jekyll 4-H Center, the King and Prince Hotel, the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Tybee Island Beach Task force, the City of Tybee and the Burton 4-H Center

The AMBUR project is funded by a Coastal Hazards grant from the Georgia Sea Grant Program. Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division also partnered on the project.

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2 Responses to “Skidaway Institute introduces new coastal management tools”

  1. Chet Jackson Says:

    Chester Jackson is one of if not the greatest Scientist in Georgia to come along in a long time. His accomplishments with AMBUR is a terrific tool to help Scientist in the future and will surely help people living on the coast or are thinking of moving there.

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