US Coastal Research Program; Research Findings from First 50 Projects

Project Title: US Coastal Research Program; Research Findings from First 50 Projects

Research Advisor: Julie Rosati, Ph.D., PE,
Dr. Julie Rosati is the Lead Civil Works Technical Director for R&D as well as the Technical Director for Flood & Coastal Risk Management R&D. She also serves as an Executive Director for the US Coastal Research Program, which is the area the ECHO Post-Doctoral candidate will be needed. Additional co-advisors and mentorship will be provided by Jessie Straub ( and Mary Cialone (

Proposed Length of Time:
1-year position, with option to extend 1-2 years.

Location: Duck, NC or Vicksburg, MS

Project Background:
The U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP) was created to develop, coordinate, and enable a National science plan to address growing needs of coastal communities (The Nearshore Processes Community (2015); (2016)). Researchers from federal agencies, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations work together to identify priorities that support coastal stakeholders in activities such as emergency response, resource management, planning, and engineering. By fostering existing partnerships and multi-agency collaborations, the USCRP increases the value and impact of these coastal research applications. Through user-driven topical workshops (Elko et al. (2016); USCRP (2019)), the USCRP initiates conversation between users and researchers to help ensure that USCRP research projects address societal needs along the coastline (Stockdon et al. (2019)). By leveraging and expanding federal funding, opportunities are created for coastal science and engineering university programs to advance their research directions, provide graduate student opportunities, and connect their work to National coastal priorities (Rosati et al. (2019)). The USCRP also sponsored a multi-agency, academic and non-governmental organization, collaborative, community experiment called DUNEX (During Nearshore Event Experiment) to study nearshore coastal processes during coastal storms and ultimately improve our knowledge and ability to predict during-storm processes and impacts.  DUNEX addresses this need and this goal by collecting a shared data set, quantifying storm processes and impacts during storm events (Cialone et al. (2019)).

Since 2016, the USCRP has funded 63 academic research studies to address coastal research needs in several priority areas including long-term and short-term nearshore coastal processes. Results from these studies have been documented in literature and implemented in advancements to technology, methods, numerical models, and other mechanisms. There is a need to summarize the outcomes, successes, lessons learned, and degree of transition into practice; and identify technologies that could benefit the USACE as well as synthesize remaining gaps in each topic area.   

Project Goals:
This Project seeks candidates that will research advancements, outcomes, and opportunities for transitioning USCRP academic research into practice, based on documentation from the first 50 funded USCRP research projects. Successful applicants will document research findings, scientific advancements, benefits to coastal communities, as well as metrics on the number of students trained, follow-on studies, and number of students seeking Federal employment following project completion. End products will be a journal paper documenting findings, recommendations, and communication products.

Anticipated Skillsets:
Ph.D. in Coastal Engineering, Marine Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science, Geography, or related fields. The successful candidate should have a strong background in nearshore coastal processes and strong verbal and written communication skills.

Cialone, M., Elko, N., Lillycrop, J., Stockdon, H., Raubenheimer, B., and Rosati, J. (2019). “During Nearshore Event Experiment (DUNEX): A Collaborative Community Field Data Collection Effort,” Proceedings, Coastal Sediments 2019.

U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP), (2019). “Advancing the Understanding of Storm Processes and Impacts,” Elko, N., Dietrich, C., Cialone, M., Stockdon, H., Bilskie, M.V., Boyd, B., Charbonneau, B., Cox, D., Dresback, K., Elgar, S., Tomiczek, T., Lewis, A., Limber, P., Long, J., Massey, C., Mayo, T., McIntosh, K., Nadal, N., Raubenheimer, B., Wargula, A. (Eds.), Shore and Beach, 87(1).

Elko, N., Brodie, K., Stockdon, H., Nordstrom, K., Houser, C., McKenna, K., Moore, L., Rosati, J., Ruggiero, P., Thuman, R., and Walker, I. (2016). “Dune Management Challenges on Developed Coasts,” Shore and Beach, 84(1): 15-28.

The Nearshore Processes Community, 2015. The Future of Nearshore Processes Research, Elko, N., Feddersen, F., Foster, D., Hapke, C., McNinch, J., Mulligan, R., Ozkan-Haller, H.T., Plant, N., and Raubenheimer, B. (Eds.), Shore and Beach, 83(1): 13-38.

The Nearshore Processes Community (2016). U.S. Nearshore Community Integrated Research Implementation Plan – The National Plan, American Shore and Beach Association, 116 p.

Rosati, J.D., Elko, N., Stockdon, H., Lillycrop, J., and Cialone, M., (2019). “US Coastal Research Program: Fostering Academic Research,” Proceedings, Coastal Sediments 2019.

Stockdon, H., Brandt, L., Cialone, M. Elko, N., Haines, J., Lillycrop, J. and Rosati, J. (2019) “US Coastal Research Program: Building a Research Community to Support Coastal Stakeholders,” Proceedings, Coastal Sediments 2019.

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