Social Science

NCCOS's social science portfolio is focused on the connections between people and the environment. NCCOS expertise in sociology, economics, and geography is integrated with our coastal ecosystem science to create comprehensive assessments. Similarly, NCCOS also funds external competitive social science research. We provide tools, maps, and products to help communities sustainably manage their natural resources and protected areas, and to better understand and respond to coastal hazards and contaminated coastal waters.

Areas of Focus

Why Social Science Matters

Our coastal communities and economies are dependent on nearby coastal and marine ecosystems. Because of this, it is important that we understand the relationships between them. Only with this knowledge can we ensure that our policies and actions support the well-being and sustainability of both ecosystems and nearby human populations.

Economic Value

Over 123 million people live within America’s coastal shoreline counties. These coastal communities produce $6.6 trillion annually in goods and services, and employ over 51 million people.

Environmental Value

It is important to understand how people use, value, and impact natural resources. When patterns of human use are considered, we are able to understand the potential impacts of human activities on sensitive natural resources, like endangered and protected species.

Community Value

Impacts from coastal hazards threaten property and community well-being. By understanding the vulnerabilities of communities to potential coastal risks, communities can take action to prepare and become more resilient.

Featured Stories

From Around the Field