Ph.D., Marine Science. 2014. VIMS, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA.
M.S., Environmental Science. 2009. Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA.
B.S., Biology. 2007. Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA.
Minors: Chemistry and Leadership Studies
I'm generally interested in hydrodynamic modeling applications related to coastal inundation caused by storm surge, heavy precipitation events, and persistent tidal flooding. My research also addresses new utilitarian methods of flooding extent verification via thermal infrared imaging drones and crowd-sourcing mobile applications such as the Sea Level Rise App (iOS / Android), and the geospatial analysis methods involved with statistically evaluating flood model predictions.
I currently lead the StormSense Project in the Greater Hampton Roads Region of Tidewater Virginia, an inundation forecasting research initiative to enhance emergency preparedness for flooding resulting from storm surge, rain, and tides. The scope of the project encompasses the interests of coastal local governments wishing to enhance their flood response efforts via a network of 'Internet of Things' (IoT)-enabled bridge-mounted ultrasonic water level sensors. The new suite of sensors installed by the Cities of Hampton Roads may one day be integrated with the VIMS TideWatch Network to enhance the reach of the existing tidal prediction network for improved geospatial flood predictions throughout the lower Chesapeake Bay when coupled with the 3D hydrodynamic flood modeling and forecasting capabilities of our Sub-Grid Model in Hampton Roads. The capabilities of street-level modeling are providing new insights into how we may adapt to compounding influences of changes in mean sea level, land subsidence, and storm surges-- now, and in the future.
I also evaluate the impacts of point source and non-point source nutrient loading and pollution using water quality models to evaluate their iimplications for the health of coastal bays of the United States including the Chesapeake Bay and its many tributaries. I am also interested in the use of remote sensing satellites and GIS data to illustrate areas of historical significance in Virginia's past through the Remote Sensing GIS classes I teach at and William and Mary.
More detailed information regarding my research experience is available in my CV.
My Recent Storm Surge and High Resolution Inundation Modeling Applications:
Simoniello, C., Jencks, J., Lauro, F.M., Loftis, J.D., Weslawski, J.M., Deja, K., Forrest, D.R., Gossett, S., Jeffries, T.C., Jensen, R.M., Kobara, S., Nolan, L., Ostrowski, M., Pounds, D., Roseman, G., Basco, O., Gosselin, S., Reed, A., Wills, P., and Wyatt, D. (2019). Citizen-Science for the Future: Advisory Case Studies From Around the Globe. Frontiers in Marine Science. 6, p.225. URL
Loftis, J.D., Forrest, D., Wang, H., Rogers, L., Molthan, A., Bekaert, D., Cohen, S., and Sun, D. (2018). October. Communities and Areas at Intensive Risk in the Mid-Atlantic Region: A Reanalysis of 2011 Hurricane Irene with Future Sea Level Rise and Land Subsidence. In OCEANS 2018 MTS/IEEE Charleston (pp. 1-7). IEEE. URL
Cohen, S., Raney, A., Munasinghe, D., Loftis, J.D., Molthan, A., Jordan Bell, Laura Rogers, John Galantowicz, G. Robert Brakenridge, Albert J. Kettner, Yu-Fen Huang, AND Yin-Phan Tsang. (2019). The Floodwater Depth Estimation Tool (FwDET v2.0) for Improved Remote Sensing Analysis of Coastal Flooding. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 14. URL
Rogers, L., Borges, D., Murray, J., Molthan, A., Bell, J., Allen, T., Bekaert, D., Loftis, J.D., Wang, H., Cohen, S., and Sun, D. (2018). October. NASA’s Mid-Atlantic Communities and Areas at Intensive Risk Demonstration:: Translating Compounding Hazards to Societal Risk. In OCEANS 2018 MTS/IEEE Charleston (pp. 1-5). IEEE. URL
Loftis, J.D., Forrest, D.R., Mayfield, D. and Stiles, W.A. (2018). October. A Geospatial Analysis of+ 50,000 Citizen-Science collected GPS Flood Extents and Street-Level Hydrodynamic Model Forecasts during the 2017 King Tide in Hampton Roads, VA. In OCEANS 2018 MTS/IEEE Charleston (pp. 1-4). IEEE. URL
Loftis, J.D., Mitchell, M., Atkinson, L., Hamlington, B., Allen, T.R., Forrest, D., Updyke, T., Tahvildari, N., Bekaert, D. & Bushnell, M. (2018). Integrated Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Observations in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Marine Technology Society Journal, 52(2): 68-83. URL
Boon, J.D., Mitchell, M., Loftis, J.D. & Malmquist, D.M. (2018). Anthropocene Sea Level Change: A History of Recent Trends Observed in the U.S. East, Gulf, and West Coast Regions. Special Report in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SRAMSOE). No. 467. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. URL
Loftis, J.D., Katragadda, K., Rhee, S. & Nguyen, C. (2018). StormSense: A Blueprint for Coastal Flood Forecast Information & Automated Alert Messaging Systems. SCOPE '18 Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Science of Smart City Operations and Platforms Engineering, 3(1). URL
Loftis, J.D., Forrest, D., Katragadda, K., Spencer, K., Organski, T., Nguyen, C. & Rhee, S. (2018). StormSense: A New Integrated Network of IoT Water Level Sensors in the Smart Cities of Hampton Roads, VA. Marine Technology Society Journal, 52(2): 56-67. URL
Loftis, J.D., Wang, H.V., Hamilton, S.E. & Forrest, D.R. (2018). Combination of Lidar Elevations, Bathymetric Data, and Urban Infrastructure in a Sub-Grid Model for Predicting Inundation in New York City during Hurricane Sandy. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems. URL
Loftis, J.D., Wang, H., Forrest, D., Rhee, S. & Nguyen, C. (2017). Emerging Flood Model Validation Frameworks for Street-Level Inundation Modeling with StormSense. SCOPE '17 Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Science of Smart City Operations and Platforms Engineering, 2(1), 13-18. URL
Loftis, J.D., Wang, H.V., DeYoung, R.J. & Ball, W.B. (2016). Using Lidar Elevation Data to Develop a Topobathymetric Digital Elevation Model for Sub-Grid Inundation Modeling at Langley Research Center, In: Brock, J.C.; Gesch, D.B.; Parrish, C.E.; Rogers, J.N., and Wright, C.W. (eds.), Advances in Topobathymetric Mapping, Models, and Applications. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 76, 134-148. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208. URL
Wang, H., Loftis, J.D., Forrest, D., Smith, W., & Stamey, B. (2015). Modeling Storm Surge and inundation in Washington, D.C., during Hurricane Isabel and the 1936 Potomac River Great Flood. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 3(3), 607-629. URL
Loftis, J.D. (2014). Development of a Large-Scale Storm Surge and High-Resolution Sub-Grid Inundation Model for Coastal Flooding Applications: A Case Study During Hurricane Sandy. Ph.D. Dissertation. College of William & Mary. URL
Wang, H., Loftis, J.D., Liu, Z., Forrest, D. & Zhang, J. (2014). Storm Surge and Sub-Grid Inundation Modeling in New York City during Hurricane Sandy. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 2(1), 226-246. URL
Loftis, J.D., Wang, H. & DeYoung, R. (2013). Storm Surge and Inundation Modeling in the Back River Watershed for NASA Langley Research Center. NASA Technical Report: NASA/TM-2013-218046. URL
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