||The National Assessment will develop and implement scientifically rigorous means to assess the Nations vulnerability to coastal change hazards. Themes that will be emphasized include:--- MONITORING HAZARDS: Using lidar, we have completed the Nation's FIRST objective baseline of coastal position and topography. In the years to come, this baseline, will be compared to future periodic surveys to monitor how our Nations coasts are changing. The baseline is being compared to syntheses of historical shoreline measures to quantitatively assess past coastal change. Further, the lidar topographic baseline provides an outstanding assessment for pre-storm condition throughout the country. Subsequent post-storm lidar missions will allow quantification of storm-induced changes. --- UNDERSTANDING PROCESSES: The coastal change data acquired above, and complementary data sets, will be used to test critical hypotheses important to implementing assessment of the vulnerability of the coasts nationwide. For example, are wave runup models accurate enough to predict overwash and inundation of barrier islands? Can these models be used effectively, and over thousands of kilometers of coast, to assess vulnerability? --- MAPPING COASTAL CHANGE VULNERABILITIES: Develop the means, and implement the results, to assess vulnerabilty of coasts to change (from storms, from sea level rise, from gradients in longshore transport, etc.). A very important aspect of this project, will be to continually test and improve upon the methodologies, striving to make them more quantitative, more probabilistic.--- DATA INTEGRATION/DISSEMINATION: Using database and GIS technology, data from the National Assessment will be made available to researchers and local users and clients (e.g. coastal zone managers). For this part of the Assessment we are seeking strategic relationships with partners with extensive capabilities and expertise in data-base and GIS, such as EROS Data Center and NOAA's Coastal Services Center.