The Coastal Hazards Program provides data and tools to coastal communities that help them plan for and mitigate the risk of damage from changing ocean conditions. This includes high tide flooding predictions, long-term sea level trend data, and monitoring for storm surge and tsunami threats.
Audra Luscher says her family is a big part of her love of the outdoors and the ocean. She says her uncle, who was a national spearfishing champion, was the first one to take her snorkeling and diving. “He made water approachable to me as a young child, whether it was jumping into a stream in Idaho or freediving a kelp bed off Catalina Island.”
With the Coastal Hazards Program for the Centers for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), Audra plans and oversees projects and develops partnerships with coastal communities. The program provides data and tools that communities use to predict and plan for threats like high tide flooding and sea level rise. Local decision-makers can use the information to plan infrastructure projects and protect public safety in severe weather.
Audra is also the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in her office, and says it feels great to help facilitate open communication and understanding with her team. For anyone considering a career at NOAA, Audra wants to encourage women and people of color to join the workforce. She also wants “people with disabilities not to be intimidated by environmental work. Although field work is a component of our work in NOAA, most of our work in CO-OPS is underpinned by analytical, programming, and computational skills.”