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Susan White



Toxicology Building 105


Susan White is the executive director for North Carolina Sea Grant, the Water Resources Research Institute for the University of North Carolina, and North Carolina Space Grant. All three programs provide targeted research, outreach and education projects to address critical issues in the state and within the region. Sea Grant, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and WRRI, with funding from the U.S. Geological Survey, focus on coastal, ocean and water resource topics for ecosystems and communities. Space Grant projects, with funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, include partnerships with the aerospace industry.

In fall 2017, White was named chair of the N.C. Sediment Control Commission by Gov. Roy Cooper. She previously was director of NOAA’s Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C. Formerly the national research coordinator for NOAA’s Estuarine Reserves Division and National Estuarine Research Reserve System, she has served on national and regional steering committees on topics including technology transfer, integrated drought monitoring and early warning, and climate’s connections to health. White earned a doctorate from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University.


Date: 07/01/06 - 6/30/30
Amount: $1,965,532.00
Funding Agencies: State of North Carolina

State Appropriations for research matching

Date: 01/01/23 - 12/31/26
Amount: $460,186.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Commerce (DOC)

Shoreline erosion and resulting property damage can occur quickly during a storm event or over decades with sea-level rise and from human activities, including repeated shoreline modifications, dredging, and boating. The need to protect coastal properties and infrastructure against erosion and damage has increased with human populations along coastlines, with traditional, ???gray??? approaches, such as shoreline hardening, often having negative ecological, geophysical, and socioeconomic impacts on coastal communities and ecosystems. As coastal hazards and exposure to these hazards continue to increase, stakeholders need access to data, information, and expertise that can help them make informed decisions about coastal protection. Further, an interdisciplinary approach implemented in partnership with stakeholders is needed to translate data and technical information in a framework and format that directly facilitates coastal protection decisions. This proposal will co-develop (1) a coastal protection design and siting framework; and (2) living shoreline training courses and certification program for stakeholders, including coastal property owners, engineers, and contractors. The coastal protection framework and training courses will be co-developed through a partnership between North Carolina Sea Grant, East Carolina University, Carteret Community College, the North Carolina Coastal Reserve, and the North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF), leveraging data and findings from USCRP and NC Sea Grant-funded projects, as well as input from a diverse group of coastal stakeholders.

Date: 09/01/21 - 8/31/26
Amount: $326,497.00
Funding Agencies: US Geological Survey (USGS)

The Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) of The University of North Carolina is responsible for fostering and developing a research training and information dissemination program that addresses the water resource concerns of the State and region. In developing its programs, WRRI carries forth a proactive effort to interact and communicate with water resource professionals, managers, and researchers from state and federal programs, local government, industry, environmental organizations, private consultants, water and wastewater treatment plants, our partners at the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Adaptation Center, and the university research community. Close interaction with these entities results in the prioritization of ever changing North Carolina water research priorities that WRRI strives to address, as well as ensuring that our USGS mission priorities are also incorporated, through WRRI research, training and outreach programs.

Date: 07/01/09 - 6/30/26
Amount: $170,000.00
Funding Agencies: Burlington, NC

Continuing agreement between the Water Resources Research Institute of The UNC and the City of Burlington for membership in the Urban Water Consortium. Funds will be used for the support of projects approved by the members.

Date: 07/01/09 - 6/30/26
Amount: $170,000.00
Funding Agencies: Greenville, NC

The Urban Water Consortium is a membership of local municipalities to support research related to water issues. Funds will be used to support projects approved by the Urban Water Consortium members.

Date: 07/01/09 - 6/30/26
Amount: $170,000.00
Funding Agencies: Durham, NC

The Urban Water Consortium is a membership of local municipalities to support research related to water issues. Funds will be used to support projects approved by the Urban Water Consortium members.

Date: 11/01/22 - 11/01/25
Amount: $180,000.00
Funding Agencies: Burroughs Wellcome Fund

The NC STEM Policy Post Graduate Fellowship ??? focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ??? provides a unique in-state, non-academic career opportunity that is designed to lead to greater retention of these highly trained individuals in state. The NC STEM Policy Post Graduate Fellowship initially began as a feasibility study in 2016 with North Carolina Sea Grant, administratively housed at NC State University, and two Duke University doctoral students. Funding was provided through a one-year planning grant from the California Council on Science and Technology. The program placed its first fellows in 2020 and with continuing collaboration and support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund has grown into an on-going and expanding fellowship opportunity. This program advances the Burroughs Wellcome Fund mission to support the development of future leaders across the sciences that can address current and future grand challenges facing our nation.

Date: 08/01/22 - 7/31/25
Amount: $152,865.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Commerce (DOC)

Size-structured stock assessment models possess the advantage that knowledge of fish length at time of tagging and recapture are far easier to obtain while having less measurement error compared to age of tagged fish. This is an important benefit when integrating a tagging sub- model into the stock assessment because it allows for the estimation of size-structured parameters such as fishing mortality and natural mortality. Natural mortality is an important parameter in a stock assessment because it is directly proportionate to the stock??????????????????s productivity and can therefore heavily impact stock assessment outcomes and management decisions. For simplicity, natural mortality is often set at a fixed rate based on general life history. However, natural mortality often fluctuates with environmental factors, such as cold stun events, as seen in the spotted seatrout stock in North Carolina and Virginia. Therefore, this proposal seeks to (1) develop a novel seasonal size-structured, tag-integrated, state-space stock assessment model for the spotted seatrout stock in North Carolina and Virginia, and to (2) conduct a simulation- estimation experiment to evaluate model performance, evaluate ability to estimate parameters, and test different ways to incorporate process errors. This proposal will address the need for estimating seasonally varying natural mortality parameters for the spotted seatrout stock while also advancing general stock assessment methods through the use of a state-space models and integration of tagging sub-models to estimate size-structured time-varying mortality parameters.

Date: 07/01/10 - 6/30/25
Amount: $1,634,698.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Sea Grant Program

Since its creation in 2001, the North Carolina Blue Crab Research Program funded by N.C. General Assembly and administered by North Carolina Sea Grant has paired crabbers with researchers and fishery managers to investigate and enhance North Carolina's most profitable fishery. As of 2008, through an action of the N.C. General Assembly, the program began incorporating shellfish in its coverage and is changing its name to the N.C. Blue Crab and Shellfish Research Program (BCSRP).

Date: 07/01/09 - 6/30/25
Amount: $80,000.00
Funding Agencies: Raleigh, NC

The Stormwater Group will operate as a program within WRRI on behalf of the Urban Water Consortium (UWC). The intend is to join with other units of local government in the cooperative effort to support research projects selected by the UWC members who participate in the UWC Stormwater Group.

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