Cheryl J. Hapke
Research: Coastal regions throughout the world are experiencing the impacts of sea-level rise and increased coastal hazards from inundation, storms, and erosion. Detailed knowledge of coastal processes and evolution are critical for understanding vulnerabilities to the various hazards in both natural and built systems. Coastal communities have a growing need for coastal science experts to aid in the development of sound sea-level rise adaptation plans. My research focuses on the geomorphic evolution of coastal systems ranging from barrier islands to rocky coasts and estuarine systems – understanding how coasts are changing now and have changed in the past is critical towards understanding what may happen in the future. Potential future coastal response can be modeled in the context of probabilistic frameworks and the models very dependent on high-resolution elevation data of both the coastline and the adjacent seafloor. I am the coordinator of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program, an initiative to coordinate across federal and state partners to realize the vision of having high-resolution data available for all of Florida’s coastal waters in a decade. Data collected as part of this initiative has application across numerous sectors including research, navigation, restoration, storm surge modeling, fisheries management, and community resilience planning.