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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


Coastal Processes

Study of the geology and physics of the nearshore marine environment. Areas of current research include: influx of terrestrial waters into the marine environment, coastal currents, estuarine dynamics, air-sea interaction, waves, and tides.

Coastal Processes Faculty

Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Biogeochemical cycling and export fluxes of nutrients. Global climate change in past and present day environments. Utilization of cosmogenic and uranium series radioisotopes to study ecological processes. Development of new analytical techniques.

Jean Ellis

Jean Ellis

My research focuses on coastal and aeolian geomorphology and the impact of humans on the coastal environment. I approach my geomorphic research from a field and instrument intensive perspective. In the field, my lab measures characteristics of wind, waves, and sand transport, often with custom instruments. My current projects focus on small-scale aeolian sand transport (vertical and horizontal sand flux and ripple formation), dune migration, and wave transformation around breakwaters. The latter project compares field and laboratory collected data. I have had funding to use satellite data to identify areas in the coastal zone for conservation and restoration, with an emphasis on wetlands.

Susan Lang

Susan Lang

Aqueous biogeochemistry; water-rock-microbe interactions, particularly in hydrothermal and subsurface systems; stable (13C, 15N, 34S) and radiocarbon (14C) isotopes of organic molecules; serpentinization as a source of energy for microbes and the abiotic synthesis of organic molecules; past, present, and future cycling of carbon and nitrogen through the environment.

Dwayne Porter

Dwayne Porter

Dr. Porter’s research interests include exploring and expanding the increasingly important roles that technology and technological innovations play in monitoring, assessing, modeling and managing our coastal environmental resources and associated environmental and public health issues. Dr. Porter focuses on the use of the tools of Geographic Information Sciences (GISciences) to develop and apply spatial models to study the impacts of anthropogenic and physiographic influences to coastal resources. Dr. Porter has directed /directs several federally-funded multi-disciplinary projects focusing on land use and land cover patterns and how changes in land-use activities impact estuarine health and associated human health concerns.

George Voulgaris

George Voulgaris

Shoreline evolution; nearshore and beach processes; surf-zone and continental shelf sediment transport; wave-current interaction; sediment re-suspension; hydrodynamic and turbulence measurements in the field and laboratory; time-series analysis; tidal propagation in estuaries and lagoons; numerical model applications to coastal zone; operational oceanography; HFR Surface Radar measurements.

Scott White

Scott White

Most of the Earth's surface is hidden underwater, from the deep seafloor to wetland environments. Revealing the patterns and processes in these marine environments is the overarching theme of Scott's research group in marine geology and geophysics.

Alicia Wilson

Alicia Wilson

My research is in the field of hydrogeology, from the role of groundwater in coastal ecohydrology to the origin and evolution of porewaters in large sedimentary basins. A particular focus right now is submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), which discharges nutrients and other solutes to coastal systems ranging from tidal creeks to the continental shelf.

Alexander Yankovsky

Alexander Yankovsky

My primary research interests are focused on the flow dynamics on continental shelves, in marginal seas and in estuaries. This includes wind- and buoyancy-driven currents, transient and time-variable processes, long waves and wave-current interaction, mesoscale variability, and adjustment of waves and currents to topographic and coastline features. My research comprises numerical modeling and the analysis of observational data.