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Published in: Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 10, no. 3, 2020.


Climate change has led to the need for innovation in resilient infrastructure and the social policies which will support those. This requires greater interdisciplinary interactions and knowledge building among emerging professionals. This paper presents a case study of a pilot short course intended to immerse graduate students in the design of resilient infrastructure using place-based and interdisciplinary active team learning. This course helps graduate students bridge the gap between research and practice on the social science and engineering of resilient infrastructure for coastal adaptation. The intellectual framework for the course (the Adaptive Gradients Framework) provides a holistic evaluation of adaptation design proposals and was used to recognize the complexity of social, ecological and engineering aspects and varied social benefits. The course provides a model to move outside rigid boundaries of institutions and disciplines to begin to build, in both students and instructors, the ability to work more effectively on complex social-ecological-engineering problems. Finally, this paper presents a summary of lessons learned from this pilot short course.