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Resilience in research

Stantec’s Gary Sorge looks back on the “a-ha moment” that broadened his team’s research from case study to “something much greater.”

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<p>When you look at the threats of storms and what we've experienced over the past five years our urban &nbsp;shorelines are going to be reconstructed one way or another.</p> <p>Our research began with a study of urban shorelines specifically following or particularly following the influences of super storm Sandy in the New York, New Jersey area. We took that opportunity to look into specific communities that were impacted quite heavily and how we may come up with alternative systems that would be more resilient be at ecologically balanced with more of a landscape adaptation</p> <p>We actually got to maybe the quarter point through our research and said, &quot;What is the real problem? We thought it was this.&quot; Then we realized it was something much greater.</p> <p>that was our aha moment. We said, &quot;We can add more to our study. We can look beyond just the prototype in this case study and look at urban shorelines, looking at structured shorelines and how some of the guidelines that are floated through the industry every day may be adopted to achieve a greater level of ecological balance.&quot;</p> <p>Moving through this process was very interesting. I could have never outlined initially how circuitous this route would be.</p> <p>It was a series of directs and redirects which took us to a place where we thought we could better serve our clients, better serve our colleagues, our project partners and that this whole process would be much more educational for us and we would glean from it, information that we could actually use day to day in the course of our work.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>there's nothing better than going to a prospective client and saying we are currently researching that topic and here is what we found. Number 1, they're interested ... They're excited that you've taken that interest in the topic that's important to them but they're also excited to hear what you've learned and they're also excited that their project will gain from the unique experience that you had. I think it goes a long way in setting us apart from the competition.</p>

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