Modeling the Coastal Dynamics of Sea Level Rise


Location: 140 DeBartolo Hall

Coasts are dynamic systems that continuously transform over time in response to natural and anthropogenic drivers. Over short-time scales (days), extreme storms can reshape sandy shorelines and barrier islands. Over longer time scales (decades), global climate change, and sea level rise in particular, have the potential to impact coastal environments with increased tide and storm surge flooding, increased beach erosion, and wetland loss. The effects can be detrimental for human communities and ecological habitats. Planning for future changes requires scientific evaluations of the impacts of climate change and the resulting evolution of the coastal landscape. Synergetic studies that integrate the dynamic interactions and feedbacks between the physical, ecological, and anthropogenic environment provide a more holistic understanding of what the coast may look like in the future. This talk is focused on using predictive models of coastal hydrodynamics (tides, waves, storm surge), barrier island morphology and marsh evolution to assess future coastal change and potential management strategies to increase coastal resilience.

Davina Passeri is a Research Oceanographer at the U.S. Geological Survey St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL. She received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2010, followed by a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2015. She leads transdisciplinary projects focused on modeling hydrodynamics, barrier island evolution, marsh evolution and restoration strategies that inform coastal management decision making.