MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — College students will be working to gauge the impact of climate change along the South Carolina coast, one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation.

The Sun News reports that ( ) Coastal Carolina University has received a $25,000 National Science Foundation grant to fund research involving undergraduates.

The money will be used for research to better understand the impact of climate change on coastal areas and improve climate forecasting. It will also be used for studies that will help the nation better prepare for climate change.

Michael Roberts, dean of Coastal Carolina University’s college of science said the grants are generally awarded to institutions that do high-level research and involve undergraduate students in that research.

The grant requires that a majority of the students participating attend schools other than the host university. Coastal Carolina plans to recruit some students from historically black institutions both in South Carolina and neighboring states.

“Historically, the fields of geoscience and computer science have been hampered by lack of diversity,” said Sathish Kumar, a Coastal Carolina professor. “Very few underrepresented minorities and women gravitate toward these areas of studies.”

Coastal University has targeted a number of schools to recruit students for the program including Benedict College, Claflin University, Columbia College, South Carolina State, North Carolina Central and Roanoke College.

The grant will pay for eight 10-week undergraduate internships during each of the next three summers. Students will receive a $5,000 stipend along with meal allowances.

U.S. Census Bureau figures show that three of the 20 fastest-growing areas in the nation are along the South Carolina coast – the Beaufort area, the Charleston area and the Myrtle Beach area.

Information from: The Sun News,