Coastal Policy Lab

The Coastal Policy Lab is at the intersection of science and policy – law, economics, engineering, planning and the social sciences – and engages faculty and students from these and other disciplines in a “laboratory” format.


The “Coastal Policy Laboratory” provides a central campus hub for coastal policy research and training.  Faculty from key disciplines at the intersection of science and policy – law, economics, engineering, planning and the social sciences – engage students from these and other disciplines in a “laboratory” format to ensure that the policy implications of Center research are adequately understood and addressed, that Center students are equipped with the tools of policy analysis, and that Center stakeholders have a place to go to seek advice on policy applications that advance coastal solutions, including those developed by the Center.

Thomas Ankerson“Policy relevance has become a watchword for scientists and engineers grappling with the coast’s especially wicked problems. Achieving policy fluency is a key component of a truly interdisciplinary approach to STEM education.  A policy lab housed in a STEM Center can achieve both.”

Thomas T. Ankersen, Committee Chair, UF Faculty Board
Professor, Director, Conservation Clinic
UF Levin College of Law


Coastal Policy Lab Course

As part of the Center for Coastal Solutions partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), an inaugural fall semester course called the Coastal Policy Lab is bringing together six law students from the UF Law Conservation Clinic and six engineering graduate students affiliated with the Center for Coastal Solutions to address coastal resiliency on Sanibel and Captiva islands.

UF Law Professor Tom Ankersen and UF Environmental Engineering Professor Christine Angelini are focusing the first Coastal Policy Lab in Charlotte Harbor.

The Coastal Policy Lab is an experiential learning program in which law and graduate engineering and science students work together in teams on projects of importance to a local partner—in this case SCCF. They are exploring nature-based solutions that address sea level rise and water quality, such as living seawalls and shorelines, oyster and sponge gardening, mangrove management, and navigation channel design. Financial support for the program is provided by Florida Sea Grant.

Students are also researching institutional design options for coastal resiliency programming such as “adaptation action areas” and “coastal resiliency districts.” The student teams will present their results to SCCF stakeholders by early December. SCCF staff advising the project teams include SCCF Coastal Resiliency Program Manager Carrie Schuman, SCCF Environmental Policy Director James Evans, and SCCF Marine Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt.

Coastal Policy NEWS & Blog

Coastal Policy Blog webpage