Andre Joseph-Witzig is from the Caribbean spice island of Grenada. He has been closely involved with climate change and coastal zone management on the island, working with international agencies and local government. He has supported the development of policy and legislation, data collection in the coastal zone, and work with schools and technical staff on community co-management, beach profiling, and ecosystem-based adaptation, including both coral reef and mangrove restoration projects.
Read about Andre's Year 2 Capstone
As part of the CSP program, Andre completed a summer internship with the Central Coast Wetlands Group supporting their work on coastal adaptation for the City of Santa Cruz. For this work he reviewed adaptation strategies, policies, and triggers for pathways to adapt to storms and sea level rise. The work will inform the City’s Resilient Coast Santa Cruz effort. Andre also attended the DroneCamp program hosted by the Informatics and GIS Program of the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources division and developed skills in drone monitoring and the use of photogrammetry as a tool to monitor coastal ecosystems.
For his capstone project Andre worked closely with the Natural Capital Project (NATCAP) to complete research on coastal vulnerability and ecosystem services on the island of Grenada. With the guidance of the team, led by Dr. Katie Arkema and supported by his advisors Dr. Gary Griggs and Dr. Borja Reguero, Andre used NATCAP’s InVEST coastal vulnerability model to conduct an island-wide assessment of the protective services provided by coastal ecosystems in Grenada. Andre integrated high-resolution aerial imagery and bathymetry provided by local partners, including the Land Use and Environment Divisions of the Government of Grenada, and new data gathered using drones and photogrammetry as a new method to monitor coastal change and erosion on Grenadian beaches. At present, Andre is finalizing outputs in the form of a set of drone beach monitoring guidelines for Grenada and a report sharing the coastal vulnerability model findings. The products of the capstone will directly to coastal zone management planning and implementation in Grenada.
Over the course of the capstone year Andre was able to collaborate with many partners working on coastal adaptation in Grenada. This included working closely with consultants developing a marine spatial plan for Grenada and attending workshops and capacity building sessions under an ongoing National Ecosystem Assessment for Grenada. Andre was also able to contribute to a socio-economic coastal vulnerability assessment developed by the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in the UK and is working to finalize a publication as a co-author. Andre is aiming for these products and his future work to assist decision-makers and community groups with sustainable management of the coastal zone in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean region.
Watch Andre’s Final Capstone Presentation here.