Founding Director: Paul Sandifer '68, PhD

Paul Sandifer


The Center for Coastal Environmental and Human Health began as a way to facilitate collaborative research between faculty whose interests lie in the intersection between the coastal environment and human health including marine biology, environmental studies, and public health.

Dr. Sandifer is a marine scientist and the former Senior Science Advisor to the NOAA Administrator, Chief Science Advisor for NOAA’s National Ocean Service, as well as Senior Scientist for Coastal Ecology for NOAA's National Ocean Service. Dr. Sandifer’s research interests lie in coastal ecology, ocean policy, ecosystem services, and the connection between ocean health and human health.


Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff at the College of Charleston understand and appreciate the significant roles that healthy coastal environments play in supporting the health of individuals, communities, and economies, and use their knowledge to help ensure the continuing health, resilience, and sustainability of coastal areas.


  • Become the campus focal point for teaching, research, and policy development related to coastal environmental health and its impacts on human health and well-being.
  • Conduct research on the health-promoting effects of coastal areas.
  • Strengthen undergraduate and graduate programs in environmental studies, marine biology, public health, air and water quality.
  • Facilitate curriculum development, cross-listing of courses, and opportunities for student internships and research.
  • Connect faculty with common interests from various programs within and outside the College and help them pursue new teaching, research, and funding opportunities.
  • Coordinate seminars, visiting faculty appointments, workshops, and internship opportunities for students and faculty.
  • Serve as a bridge to relevant programs at other institutions, non-governmental organizations, and state/federal agencies.
  • Provide a contact point for public officials, agencies, and individuals seeking experts in environmental and human health interplay.
  • Equip students, stakeholders, and the public with the knowledge and will to influence decisions for a sustainable coastal future.
  • Encourage growth of a sustainable coastal “blue economy” in South Carolina and the region.

-Click here for an article written on the Center