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Franco Montalto is a professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the founder of eDesign Dynamics in New York City.
When I tell undergraduate and graduate students about the impact of sea-level rise on coastal communities, they often give me impotent stares. When they instead simulate those impacts for concerned residents of an actual coastal community, the same students ask engaging questions, produce higher quality work and finish the term feeling motivated and empowered. They’ve done some useful work for a community in need.