• Coastal Geo Lab with Governor
    Coastal Geo Lab with Governor  The VIMS Coastal Geology Lab on Wallops Island (Sept 2017). L-R: Lauren Herbine, Dan Ciarletta (Montclair State University), Jenn Connell, The Macker (former VA Governor Terry McAuliffe), Chris Hein, Kate DeMarco, Justin Shawler.  
  • Governor Geoprobe
    Governor Geoprobe  Jenn Connell training former VA Governor Terry McAuliffe (L) on the Geoprobe on Wallops Island in September 2017.  Photo by Dave Malmquist, VIMS
  • Tractor on Peregrination
    Tractor on Peregrination  The field crew on the way to Parramore Island via the R/V Peregrination. Edward Smith (vessel) & Arye Janoff (tractor) both at their respective wheels.  
  • Field Modelers
    Field Modelers  The VIMS Coastal Geology Lab even gets modelers into the field. Dan Ciarletta (L) and Arye Janoff of Montclair State University, on Parramore Island (note bug nets) in 2016.  Photo by Justin Shawler, VIMS
  • Wallops GPR
    Wallops GPR  Our version of Abbey Road: Kate DeMarco (L), Lauren Herbine, and Justin Shawler running ground-penetrating radar on Wallops Island.  Photo by Dan Ciarletta, Montclair State University
  • NASA Sign
    NASA Sign  The VIMS Coastal Geology Field Crew out on Wallops Island in 2017. L-R: Lauren Herbine, Kate DeMarco, Justin Shawler, Chris Hein, Jenn Connell.  Photo by Dan Ciarletta, Montclair State University
  • Coring Field Crew
    Coring Field Crew  Jess Raff (L), Jenn Connell, and Sarah Baker, pullin' cores and takin' names (note Ciarletta & Shawler working hard in the background).  Photo by Sean Fate, VIMS ESL
  • Vibracoring on the Peregrination
    Vibracoring on the Peregrination  Vibracoring the Parramore Island intertidal mud flats on the R/V Peregrination. L-R Edward Smith (VIMS ESL), Arye Janoff (Montclair State University), Chris Hein, Jenn Connell, Jess Raff  Photo by Dan Ciarletta, Montclair State University
  • Vibracore Mud
    Vibracore Mud  Vibracoring the muddy marshes of Parramore Island. L-R: Caleb Drake (Randolph-Macon), John Harding (VIMS volunteer), Dan Ciarletta (Montclair State University), Jenn Connell, Justin Shawler.  
  • #standwithscience
    #standwithscience  The 2017 VIMS Coastal Geology Group (L-R: Emily Hein, Jenn Connell, Jess Raff, Kallie Brown, Justin Shawler, Sarah Baker, Kate DeMarco, Chris Hein; Missing: Julie Krask)  
  • Coastal Geology Coring Rig & Trailer
    Coastal Geology Coring Rig & Trailer  The VIMS Coastal Geology Geoprobe direct-push drill rig and associated trailer and truck. Here, the VIMS Coastal Geology team was collecting a sediment core through the marsh along the Plum Island Turnpike in Newbury, MA.  Photo by L. Polido (UNIVALI)
  • Drilling Through the Sequence
    Drilling Through the Sequence  Adam Darer (left), Chris Hein (center) and Luis Polido (right) proudly showing off drive 16 (19.5 m!) of a Geoprobe core that went through the barrier, backbarrier and glaciomarine units and into glacial till near the southern tip of Plum Island.  Photo by L. Polido (UNIVALI)
  • GPR at Plum Island Airport
    GPR at Plum Island Airport  Chris Hein taking the easy road while collecting GPR data along the Plum Island Airport runway in Newburyport, MA. This airport sits on an old (ca. 17 kyr) terrace of the Merrimack River  Photo by L. Polido (UNIVALI)
  • Brazilian Churrasco
    Brazilian Churrasco  Collaborators and students taking a break from field work for a churrasco in 2009. Key collaborators include João Thadeu de Menezes (back row, 2nd from left), Duncan FitzGerald (back row, center), Thelma Scolaro (center, yellow shirt), Antonio Klein (back right), Marcos Berribilli (left, blue shirt), and Bill Cleary (front right).  Photo courtesy of William Cleary (UNC Wilmington)
  • Vibracoring in Navegantes, Brazil
    Vibracoring in Navegantes, Brazil  Collecting a vibracore along a mid-Holocene highstand ridge in Navegantes, Brazil. From left: Chris Hein, Thadeu de Menezes, Bill Cleary.  Photo by Duncan FitzGerald (Boston University)
  • Coring Picarras Beach, Brazil
    Coring Picarras Beach, Brazil  Collecting an auger core at Picarras Beach, Santa Catarina, Brazil. From left: William Cleary (UNC Wilmington), Duncan FitzGerald (Boston University), Jean Jimmy Berná Paim (UNIVALI), Chris Hein, João Thadeu de Menezes (UNIVALI)  Photo by Marcos Berribilli (UNIVALI)
  • Prince William Sound Field Team
    Prince William Sound Field Team  Enjoying dinner aboard the M/V Auklet. From left: Marcio Albernaz, Dennis Lees, Kathleen Lees, John Houghton, Kathleen Houghton, Chris Hein  Photo by Marcio Albernaz (Tetra Tech [São Paulo, Brazil])
  • Sampling Prince William Sound Beaches
    Sampling Prince William Sound Beaches  The field team at work in Prince William Sound, Alaska in June 2010. From left: John Houghton, Chris Hein, Dennis Lees, Duncan FitzGerald  Photo by David Janka (M/V Auklet, Cordova, Alaska)
  • St. Pierre & Miquelon Field Team
    St. Pierre & Miquelon Field Team  Warming up after a day of coring and GPR at a (the?) bar in Miquelon, SPM, France in May 2011. From left: Carol Wilson (Vanderbilt), Lead PI Nicolas Robin (U. Perpignan), Chris Hein, Raphael Certain (U. Perpignan), Sam Wright. (missing: Duncan FitzGerald)  Photo by Sam Wright (Truslow Resource Consulting, Portsmouth, NH)
  • Miquelon-Langlade Beach Ridges
    Miquelon-Langlade Beach Ridges  Julie Billy (left) and Chris Hein (right) collecting GPR across the Miquelon-Langlade beach-ridge plain in September 2012.  Photo © Thibaut Vergoz / CNRS Images (
  • St. Pierre & Miquelon GPR
    St. Pierre & Miquelon GPR  Chris Hein (left) and Julie Billy (right) collecting ground-penetrating radar data along the beach ridges in St. Pierre & Miquelon, France.  Photo © Thibaut Vergoz / CNRS Images (
  • Wadi Gawasis Field Team
    Wadi Gawasis Field Team  The 2010 field team at Wadi Gawasis, Egypt, led by Kathryn Bard (back row, third from right) of Boston University. Our thoughts remain with all of our Egyptian friends and colleagues and their families . . .  
Photo - of -
Hein WM Photo Christopher Hein is an associate professor in the VIMS Department of Physical Sciences and the novice men's coach for William & Mary Rowing. He received a B.S. from the Cornell University in 2003 and Ph.D. from Boston University in 2012. For the latter, Chris studied the role of changes in sea level and sediment supply on Holocene coastal evolution. He then worked as a postdoctoral scholar at WHOI, studying the effects of climate change on terrestrial organic-carbon dynamics in the Ganges-Brahmaputra/Bengal Fan system since the Last Glacial Maximum. Chris is now working to apply the tools of sedimentology and organic chemistry to investigate the link between sediment-supply driven coastal evolution and past climatic variability in diverse coastal settings, with a goal of using this link to forecast future responses to regionally-specific climate changes.
Shawler Field Photo

Justin Shawler (W&M BS, 2016) holds bachelor’s degrees in Geology and Government. Justin's interests in coastal geology stem from how it combines science with public policy implications related to federal, state, and local coastal management. Justin was a REU intern at VIMS in Summer 2015 and completed an honors on the human impacts on sediment supply to the Plum Island barrier system over the last several hundred years. As a graduate student at VIMS, and now a Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow, he is now studying the evolution of the barrier island systems of the Delmarva Peninsula. Check out Justin's personal webpage.

No picture for Luiza!

Kayla Cahoon (W&M BS, 2019) is the newest member to join the VIMS Coastal Geology Lab Group, starting in Fall 2019. Check back for more info on her background and masters resarch soon.

Connell Picture

Jennifer "the ripper" Connell (W&M BS, 2017) is the Coastal Geology Laboratory and Research Specialist. She graduated from William & Mary with a major in Geology and minor in Marine Science after completing a senior thesis focused on human impacts on marsh accretion in the Great Marsh, Plum Island, MA. Jenn has proven herself remarkably adept at all things lab and field, and is particularly efficient with a sawzall.

Obara Photo Chloe Obara is a junior in the William & Mary Geology Department who also plans to minor in marine science. Her senior thesis work will focus on understanding the dynamic morphology and history of rapid growth of "Fishing Point" at the southern tip of Assateague island.
Robbins_Field_Photo Mahinaokalani Robbins is a junior in the William & Mary Geology Department and also plans to minor in art. She's just starting her GIS-based senior thesis project studying historical change along the Virginia barrier islands. 
Colleen_Scott_Photo Colleen Scott is a junior in the William & Mary Geology Department, and is planning to minor in marine science. Colleen was a Summer 2018 REU intern at VIMS researching changes in groundwater analyte concentrations in response to tidal height. Her senior research will tentatively focus on sediment export from rivers on the East Coast of the United States.
Lab Alumni
Andy Fallon picture Andy Fallon (VIMS MSc, 2016) completed his masters at VIMS in December, 2015. Prior to his time here, Andy received a dual Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Earth Systems with a certificate in Coastal and Marine Science from the Five College system and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Andy's thesis focused on the monthly to decadal-scale cycles of erosion and accretion on Plum Island, Massachusetts and, in partnership with collaborator Porter Hoagland at WHOI, the impacts of coastal erosion on property values.
Krask Field Photo Julie Krask (VIMS MSc, 2018) completed her masters at VIMS in August 2018, after completing a study using organic biomarkers and organic and inorganic proxes to link coastal sediment deposition and sub-millennial scale climate change (focused on Tijucas Strandplain, Brazil). Julie also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in marine science from William & Mary (2015), and has experience in both cancer research and nitrogen cycling from her time as an undergraduate. 
Sarah Baker Sarah Baker (W&M BS, 2017) graduated from William & Mary with a major in geology. Sarah rediscovered her love of the ocean after spending a semester studying marine science onboard a ship in the South Pacific. She completed her senior thesis studying erosion on Plum Island Point / Reservation Terrace, in Plum Island, MA, and is now a graduate student at UNC Wilmington.
Boggs_Photo Bianca Boggs (W&M BS, 2019) graduated from William & Mary with a degree in geology, and as the star senior on the W&M Basketball team. From southern Maryland, with initial interest in physics and engineering, Bianca found an interest in geology and impacts humans have on climate change and earth processes. Her senior research project focused on barrier-island stratigraphy and response to sea-level rise, using field sites from New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.
Kallie Brown Field Photo Kallie Brown (W&M BS, 2016) graduated from William & Mary with a degree in geology. Kallie currently worked at the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS, and part-time in the Coastal Geology Lab mapping marsh area changes on the Delmarva Peninsula. She is now completing her masters thesis at Old Dominion University.
No picture for Luiza! Luiza Caminada was a volunteer in the VIMS Coastal Geology lab during the summer of 2015 when she worked on a study of marsh accretion rates in the Great Marsh, MA  This followed a year of study at Montclair State University as part of a study abroad / internship program from her native Brazil.
Charlie Deaton Photo Charlie Deaton (W&M BS, 2015) graduated from William & Mary with majors in Geology and Environmental Science & Policy. Charlie's senior research project focused on the relationship between barrier-island migration and relative backbarrier sedimentation rates as derived from backbarrier marsh and tidal flat areas, and the impact of accelerated sea-level rise on those relationships; this work was published in Geology in December 2016. Charlie is now a masters student in the Rodriguez Lab at the University of North Carolina.
DeMarco Photo Kate DeMarco (W&M BS, 2018) graduated from William & Mary with a major in Geology. Her senior thesis project focused on the development of the Chinocteague - Assateague - Wallops island system in Virginia and the records of environmental change and coastal response preserved within the beach and foredune ridges of these islands.
Photo of Luis Henrique Polido de Souza Luis Henrique Polido de Souza is a graduate student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) in southern Brazil and was an intern (May - Oct 2014) with the VIMS Coastal Geology lab. His primary undergraduate thesis focuses on marine phosphate deposits in southern Brazil under supervision of Prof Dr. José Gustavo Natorf de Abreu. Luis' primary study with the VIMS Coastal Geology group was on basin infilling at Tijucas Strandplain, Brazil, earning him co-authorship on publications in Sedimentology and Coastal Sediments Proceedings.
Herbine Photo Lauren Herbine (W&M BS, 2018) graduated from William & Mary with a major in Geology and is now working for GeoCorps. Her senior thesis work focused on the role of storm overwash and barrier-backbarrier couplings on historical marsh accretion behind several of the Virginia barrier islands.
Haley Gannon Photo Haley Gannon (W&M BS, 2015) graduated from William & Mary with a major in Environmental Geology and minor in Environmental Science & Policy. For her senior research, Haley mapped changes in shoreline positions of Plum Island over the past 150 years, work for which she earned co-authorship on a Coastal Sediments Proceedings paper. Following a stint at Disney, Haley now works at the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.
Kendall King Field Photo Kendall King (W&M BS, 2019) graduated from William & Mary with a major in Geology and minor in Marine Science. For her senior research, Kendall investigated the role of hurricanes (specifically, Hurricane Irma) in delivering sediment to salt marshes at four sites across the southeast US. She is currently employed with VIMS Center for Coastal Resources Management.
Soely Field Photo Soely Luyando-Flusa is a recent graduate from the Department of Biology at the Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico. She was the VIMS Coastal Geology Lab Summer 2018 REU student, from which she was chosen as the VIMS student representative to the ASLO Multicultural Program (ASLOMP), for which she will be receiving full support to attend the 2019 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Her REU project focused on human impacts on oyster populations and sedimenation in the upper Chesapeake Bay.
Brody Marino Field Photo Brody Marino (W&M BS, 2016) graduated from William & Mary with majors in Geology and Government, and minoring in Marine Science. Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay and the Outer Banks, beaches have always interested Brody. His senior thesis project investigated the spatial and temporal scales of sediment reworking from the Merrimack River along Plum Island and nearby barriers.
Raff Field Photo Jessica Raff (W&M BS, 2017) graduated from William & Mary following completion of an honors thesis with the VIMS Coastal Geology group. She studied the evolution of Parramore Island, VA and the role that changes in sea level and sediment supply have played in late Holocene change; this work was published in Marine Geology in May 2018. Jess is now a graduate student in the Goodbred Lab at Vanderbilt University.
Shuman Profile Picture Claudia Shuman was a graduate student at VIMS from 2014-2016, during which time she investigated barrier island dynamics and sediment fluxes along the northeastern coast of the United States. A graduate from Pennsylvania State and UDel, Claudia previously had completd a masters degree on the denitrification in a shallow aquifer beneath an active agricultural field on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Whitney Field Photo Rebecca Whitney was a Summer 2016 REU intern with the VIMS Coastal Geology group and an undergraduate student majoring in Chemistry at Elmira College. As an REU intern, Rebecca worked with Chris Hein and Liz Canuel to analyze organic carbon and nitrogen markers in soil samples from Plum Island.