Research Interests


 ‘Environmental Geology’ is often defined as any geological research that focuses on the interaction between people and their physical environment.  My background as a broadly trained Quaternary geoscientist with research interests in glacial, coastal, and marine depositional environments fits directly into this definition, and I focus largely on applied projects.

Much of my previous research (including my dissertation, completed in 2012) was focused on studying the extent, timing, and duration of Glacial Lake Narragansett (Glacial Lake Narragansett occupied much of the southern portion of Narragansett Basin during deglaciation).  Understanding the dynamics of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, particularly in early stages of deglaciation is crucial to advance understanding of modern ice sheets.  My interest in deciphering the Late Wisconsinan history of southern New England is not gone, and I plan to revisit topics in this field in the future.  Along the way I continued to work on other projects, including a large amount of time mapping benthic geologic habitats of estuaries, coastal lagoons and the shoreface using side-scan sonar, underwater video imagery and surface sediment grab samples.

More recently, my research has been focused on shoreline change, sea level rise and shoreface sediment transport.  Some of this work began during my graduate career, and was pushed back to the forefront by Superstorm Sandy (October 2012).  An important note, is that the modern processes in these coastal and marine environments are happening on top of or directly involving the Quaternary (glacial) geology.

I have conducted fieldwork throughout the northeast, and have led over 150 days of research aboard a variety of vessels collecting geophysical and geotechnical data.  My research has been in partnership with or funded by: The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), Natural Resource Conservation Service (Rhode Island and Connecticut), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, RI SeaGrant, Save the Bay and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Selected Research Projects

The Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan

Benthic Geologic Habitat mapping

Block Island shoreline change

Napatree Point

Deglaciation of New England