Landform Experts Convene on NJIT Campus

This coming weekend (October 18-20), the 44rd Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium will be held on NJIT’s campus in Newark, New Jersey.  The prestigious conference was brought to New Jersey for the first time by Nancy Jackson, a professor in NJIT’s department of chemistry and environmental science and coastal geomorphologist with expertise in coastal processes on beaches and dunes in estuarine and ocean environments with funding from the National Science Foundation. Organized with the theme of “Coastal Geomorphology and Restoration,” the program included invited speakers, poster presentations, and a field trip to the Jersey shore, beginning at Sandy Hook and continuing down to Seaside Heights.

“The need to understand the complex interactions of geomorphic, biotic and human processes on beaches and dunes is growing in importance due to predictions of increases in relative sea level rise, storm activity and population density,” Jackson said. “These stressors will likely have dramatic effect on the resilience of coastal systems and the ultimate success of future adaptive management strategies to cope with place-based community hazards.” 

She explained that advances in research within biology and earth sciences have increased understanding of the interactions between coastal flora and fauna and geomorphic changes in nearshore, beach and dune environments. “But there is a need for a synthesis approach that will more fully describe development, feedback, and maintenance of coastal systems over space and through time,” she said.

Nancy Jackson

Knowledge of geomorphic-biotic interactions on coasts that have been artificially restored or urbanized is still rudimentary, despite the efforts of many investigators from the physical, natural and social sciences who study coastal ecosystems across broad spatial and temporal scales.  The three-day symposium is designed to present current knowledge and provide the opportunity to discuss future research directions on coastal systems, including models of system change and adaptive management.

For more than four decades, the Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium has been an annual conference designed to bring together geomorphologists from across the disciplines of geology, geography, and environmental engineering in order to enable them to exchange research results, become aware of new techniques, explore special themes, identify future opportunities, and enhance collaborative networks.