Title page for ETD etd-11092011-161836

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Li, Kenan
Author's Email Address kli4@lsu.edu
URN etd-11092011-161836
Title Temporal Changes of Coastal Community Resilience in the Gulf of Mexico Region
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Environmental Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lam, Nina Committee Chair
Reams, Margaret Committee Member
Wilson, Vincent Committee Member
  • GOM
  • Spatial-temporal Changes
  • Community Resilience
  • Coastal Hazards
Date of Defense 2011-10-17
Availability unrestricted
The Gulf of Mexico Region is a region where coastal hazards are frequently occurring. To study the resilience of the counties along the Gulf of Mexico is of great importance to its sustainable planning and development. It also plays a huge role in coastal hazard mitigation. This study assesses the temporal changes of coastal community resilience of 132 counties along the Gulf of Mexico. The basic analytical framework to assess resilience consists of three dimensions (exposure, damage, and recovery) and two relationships (vulnerability and adaptability). Vulnerability refers to the relationship between exposure and damage, whereas the relationship between damage and recovery is termed adaptability in this study. Two important concepts were advanced in this study, which are assessing community resilience by the communityís behavior before and after disturbances, and validating the results through statistical techniques. Four socioeconomic resilient systems were derived according to their behaviors before and after natural coastal hazards: susceptible, recovering, resistant, and usurper. Seven different grouping tests using k-means cluster analysis were run on the 132 counties. 28 variables from the resilience and vulnerability literature and the human development literature were examined and explored to serve as input to discriminant analysis. Factor analysis was used to find the most important variables that affected the resilience capacity.

The results show that when using population growth as a recovery indicator, the classification gains the best discriminant scores (84.8% accuracy for 2000ís data, and 81.8% for the 1990ís data) using the 28 variables. In general, community resilience did not change much from 1990 to 2000. A total of nine counties changed their resilience capacity during the decade. Of those, four were found to have an increase in resilience, while the remaining five had a decrease in resilience.

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