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Expert Highlight

Rob Young

Professor of Geology

Rob Young, professor of geology at Western Carolina University and director of WCU’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, has provided expert commentary on coastal science and management issues for hundreds of media reports nationally and internationally.

Young also is a frequent contributor to the popular media as a guest writer and columnist. He has written articles and opinion pieces for publications ranging from The New York Times to USA Today, and The Architectural Record to the Yale Environment 360 web magazine. His television appearances include “Anderson Cooper” and “PBS Now” and he is a frequent guest on public radio shows like “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”

Young is author of “The Rising Sea,” a book about the threat posed to coastal communities by global warming. His appointments have included service on the Science Panel on Coastal Hazards that advises the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission, the South Carolina Blue Ribbon Committee on Shoreline Management, and the N.C. General Assembly’s Offshore Energy Exploration Study Committee. Along these lines, he has testified before Congress numerous times.

Young has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Bulgaria and he is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, which relocated to WCU in 2006, was founded at Duke University in 1986 by Young’s mentor, Orrin H. Pilkey, the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of the Earth Sciences at Duke. The program has become an internationally known resource for the development of responsible, non-partisan coastal management policies that consider and balance economic and environmental interests.

The PSDS has received multiple grants through the National Park Service to map the storm vulnerability of U.S. coastal parks from Alaska to Florida.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Bill Studenc, director of communications and public relations, at 828.227.3083 or bstudenc@wcu.edu; or Randall Holcombe, director of news services, at 828.227.3086 or rholcomb@wcu.edu.