St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center


Research programs have a primary focus of investigating processes related to coastal and marine environments and societal implications related to natural hazards, resource sustainability, and environmental change.



Read about our science projects, find out where we are working, and why it matters.

Science Themes



Peer-reviewed research results and conclusions, authored by Center scientists.

Publications List


Date published: May 6, 2021

Davina Passeri invited to co-present on engineering challenges in a coastal environment at University of Central Florida

Davina Passeri of the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) co-presents a talk titled, “Engineering challenges in a coastal environment,” with structural engineer David Fusco of Thornton Tomasetti for University of Central Florida (UCF).

Date published: April 27, 2021

SPCMSC scientists represent USGS at the Coastal Solutions Workshop for the Gulf Coast

Scientists from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center will participate in the virtual Ocean Visions Coastal Solutions Workshop: “Coastal Flood Modeling, Prediction and Observations for the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

Date published: April 8, 2021

SPCMSC Coastal Change Hazards researchers awarded FY21 Risk Research and Applications Funding to assess coastal vulnerabilities in Puerto Rico

Legna Torres-Garcia and Donya Frank-Gilchrist (CNSS) are co-PIs on a project entitled “Coastal Vulnerability Assessments in Puerto Rico: focused stakeholder engagement to foster equity and inclusion.” The aim is to connect resources and tools for assessing coastal change hazards to relevant stakeholders and coastal communities in Puerto Rico.


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Year Published: 2021

Assessing the effectiveness of nourishment in decadal barrier island morphological resilience

Nourishment has shown to be an effective method for short-term storm protection along barrier islands and sandy beaches by reducing flooding, wave attack and erosion. However, the ability of nourishment to mitigate the effects of storms and sea level rise (SLR) and improve coastal resilience over decadal time scales is not well understood. This...

Passeri, Davina L.; Bilskie, Matthew V.; Hagen, Scott C.; Mickey, Rangley C.; Dalyander, P Soupy; Gonzalez, Victor

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Year Published: 2021

Quantifying thresholds of barrier geomorphic change in a cross-shore sediment-partitioning model

Barrier coasts, including barrier islands, beach-ridge plains, and associated landforms, can assume a broad spectrum of morphologies over multi-decadal scales that reflect conditions of sediment availability, accommodation, and relative sea-level rise. However, the quantitative thresholds of these controls on barrier-system behavior remain largely...

Ciarletta, Daniel James; Miselis, Jennifer L.; Shawler, Justin L.; Hein, Christopher J.

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Year Published: 2021

Gulf of Mexico blue hole harbors high levels of novel microbial lineages

Exploration of oxygen-depleted marine environments has consistently revealed novel microbial taxa and metabolic capabilities that expand our understanding of microbial evolution and ecology. Marine blue holes are shallow karst formations characterized by low oxygen and high organic matter content. They are logistically challenging to sample, and...

Patin, N.V.; Dietrich, Z.A.; Stancil, A.; Quinan, M.; Beckler, J.S.; Hall, E.R.; Culter, J; Smith, Christopher; Taillefert, Martial; Stewart, F.J.