Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute (UCI) and the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) has welcomed Ryan Orgera on board as coastal community resilience project manager. The new position was established to help translate and apply the best available science and tools to assist communities in recovering from superstorm Sandy and take actions to become more resilient to future coastal hazards, the impacts of sea level rise, and changing climate. Orgera will work to enhance the capacity of the UCI and NJSGC’s extension program by improving public understanding of community hazard mitigation and making climate resilience science, data products, information, and decision support tools more accessible. Orgera will be based at Monmouth University in West Long Branch.
Orgera has a PhD in environmental geography from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2012, and received his BA and MA in Romance Languages from University of Southern Florida. While at LSU, he served as assistant project manager for research at the Disaster Science & Management Center. He was awarded a prestigious Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and worked for the past year in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.
“I am very excited to join the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and Urban Coast Institute teams,” said Orgera. “I am passionate about resilience and sustainability, and look forward to applying what I have learned in Louisiana and Washington to the ongoing restoration efforts across the region. We have to create a stronger, more resilient coast, and I look forward to working to help New Jersey achieve this,” he added. He and his wife, Melanie Halkey, who is a French professor at NYU, recently relocated to Highlands in Monmouth County and are looking forward to enjoying the Jersey Shore and exploring their new environment.
The UCI was established in September 2005 as one of Monmouth University’s Centers of Distinction. UCI’s mission is to serve the public interest as a forum for research, education, and collaboration that fosters the application of the best available science and policy to support healthy and productive coastal ecosystems and sustainable coastal communities.