UMaine Civil Engineering Graduate Student will Help Build Capacity for Coastal Resilience in Downeast Maine

Coastal communities in Maine have identified a lack of capacity to address climate change impacts on infrastructure as a persistent challenge in their efforts to increase resilience. Maine Sea Grant recently selected Alisha Shrestha, a PhD student in the civil engineering program at UMaine, for a fellowship that will begin to tackle this challenge.

“My current position as a PhD student has been an interesting journey as it requires me to not only analyze a variety of data as an engineer and a scientist, but also requires me to communicate with people at a basic level to understand and examine the problems and concerns that each community experiences,” said Shrestha. “With the data I collect, I hope to compare and analyze the similarities and differences to try and discover the best state-of-the-art solutions. This fellowship is a huge challenge and an invaluable steppingstone in my life and career ahead!”

Shrestha will work in collaboration with Maine Sea Grant and Sunrise County Economic Council to develop her graduate research in a manner that will provide technical assistance to plan, design, fund, implement, and evaluate regional resilience activities that center the needs of community members who are at higher risk of climate impacts. In addition, Shrestha will work alongside her primary faculty advisor, Dr. Shaleen Jain, and her Professional Development Mentor, Dr. Tora Johnson, who will provide training to translate research results for coastal and marine communities through outreach and engagement. Through these interactions, Shrestha will work to ensure that her research results are useful to and used by coastal communities in the Downeast region.

Shrestha’s previous experiences focused on climate change impacts on hydropower systems, and she is eager to learn more about coastal infrastructure. She holds a Master’s of Water Engineering and Management from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and a Bachelor’s of Engineering from Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

Posted 29 November 2023