This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

How Resilience Changes with Spatial Extent and Scale: A Case Study of Sea Level Rise in Coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida




Cliff, Summer

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Resilience is a term used in natural hazards and disasters research to describe a community’s ability to recover after a damaging hazard event occurs. It is within this context that resilience is often measured using composite indicators (or indices), and perhaps the composite index most commonly applied for measuring resilience is the Baseline Resilience Index for Communities (or BRIC). Although applied to compare the relative resilience of one place to another, few studies have utilized resilience indicators to understand how changes in the spatial extent of a hazard and the scale at which resilience is measured affect the results within a given study area. The purpose of this study was to address this research gap by using the BRIC composite index to analyze changes in the measured resilience of populations along the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida coasts resulting from increased Sea-Level Rise (SLR). To address the issue of scale, the BRIC scores from different spatial extents of SLR were calculated and analyzed at the U.S. Census tract and block group levels of geography. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed to statistically conclude if there were any differences between sea level rise scenarios, which were followed by a Post-hoc test and Principal Component Analysis to understand how different the observations were within the study area, and why the differences were observed.