The areas of initial focus for CHiL - semitropical estuaries and Mediterranean microclimates, provide the vital laboratory to explore the interplay between climatic/weather fluctuations and human societies over the long duration of human history. This focus upon long-term historical interactions is essential for meeting the needs of 21st century coastal communities, which are often beset by seemingly competing needs for economic development and environmental and cultural preservation. Recommendations for addressing the needs of sustainable development must be informed by scientific recommendations that are not only consistent with current best practices but are also sustainable in light of the historical record. In these regions, the rise of social complexity brought along significant alterations to the landscape.

The combination of these coastal conditions provide the Center with cross-comparative and cross-cultural expertise in historical landscapes that spans several millennia of human activity in multiple contexts, useful for implementing informed, responsible, and sustainable solutions to pressing needs of today’s society.