Other Projects

Alaska Scenery

In addition to our primary research objectives, we also love to get involved in numerous other projects across the spectrum of coastal geology and interdisciplinary science. Here is a brief sampling:
Interdisciplinary Climate Science: Risky, but Worth It
Break-out session during the DISCCRS VIII Symposium (October 2018), in which C. Hein was a participant. Photo by Jeff Ladderud.Overview: Addressing complex, multi-disciplinary climate-change impacts compels a new paradigm of interdisciplinary collaboration which incorporates tools, techniques, and insights from across the social, natural, and engineering sciences. Yet, a broad range of extrinsic and intrinsic challenges limit the reach, effectiveness, and success of such interdisciplinary research. This study explores these challenges and seeks potential solutions through use of a bibliometric analysis and survey of early to mid- career scientists from 56 countries who were involved with the interdisciplinary DISsertations initiative for the advancement of Climate Change ReSearch (DISCCRS). Results indicated that there remain expansive structural challenges to its promotion and recognition which, unless collectively addressed, will continue to hinder its potential growth and application to climate-change science. Specifically, survey respondents perceive conflict between the need for interdisciplinary climate-change research and its potential detriment to career advancement. They also note the perceived needs for: (1) expanded training (notably in communication and team skills) and networking opportunities; and (2) encouragement from senior colleagues and institutions. Respondents also ranked alternative mechanisms for encouraging incorporation of interdisciplinary science at early career stages, prioritizing funding of interdisciplinary seed grants, fellowships, and junior faculty networks, interdisciplinary teamwork and communication training, and interdepartmental symposia.
Collaborators: John Ten Hoeve (NOAA National Weather Service), Sathya Gopalakrishnan (The Ohio State University), Ben Livneh (University of Colorado, Boulder), Henry Adams (Oklahoma State University), Elizabeth Marino (Oregon State University), C. Susan Weiler (Whitman College)
Hurricane Irma Sedimentation on Southeast US Marshes
Overview: Scientists continue to weigh the net impact of hurricanes on wetlands. These events may be considered beneficial because of net sedimentation that occurs during surge inundation, or detrimental due to erosion of the marsh edge and surface excavation by storm waves. This study sampled sediments left by Hurricane Irma to examine these paradigms in the salt marshes of the South Atlantic Bight across sites with variations in physical characteristics, proximity to fluvial source, and sediment availability. Future work on a broad field database collected as part of this RAPID grant is pending funding.
Collaborators: Duncan FitzGerald (Boston University), Ioannis Georgiou (University of New Orleans), Zoe Hughes (Boston University)
Hilton Head Marshes
The long-term effects of oil-spill beach washing on sediment organization and hard-shell clam assemblages in Prince William Sound
C. Hein collecting images for photogrammetric analysis of sediment organization at Prince William Sound beaches. Photo courtesy of D. Janka (M/V Auklet).Overview: Intense high-pressure washing of many beaches of western Prince William Sound following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in sediment reworking that disrupted clast organization on these generally coarse-grained (granule to boulder) beaches. These actions caused substantial long-term injury to hard-shell clam assemblages. We returned to these beaches in 2010, some 21 years later to study the progress in natural re-organization of clasts along these beaches, as well as any continued impacts of washing on the infaunal populations. We employed a first-of-its-kind photogrammetric approach that allowed us to provide three-dimensional, high-resolution analysis and quantification of coarse-clast organization on both oiled-and-washed (treated) and oiled-but-unwashed (untreated) beaches throughout the sound. We found that beaches disturbed by washing in 1989/90 that were exposed to more wave energy had recovered by 2010, whereas more protected beaches were still in a state of semi-disturbance 21 years after these beaches were washed. Furthermore, it appears that recovery at the more protected sites will require appreciably more time before these sites attain the ambient level of organization that was observed at the unwashed sites, where clam populations had recovered significantly more 13 years after the spill than the washed sites.
Collaborators: Dennis Lees (Littoral Ecological and Environmental Services), Emily Carruthers (Sea Education Association), Duncan FitzGerald (Boston University)
Funding Sources: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

Hein, C.J., Ten Hoeve, T.E., Gopalakrishnan, S., Livneh, B., Adams, H.D., Marino, E.K., Weiler, C.S., 2018, Overcoming early career barriers to interdisciplinary climate change research, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, doi:10.1002/wcc.530.

Lees, D.C., Hein, C.J., FitzGerald, D.M., Carruthers, E.A., 2013, Re-assessment of Bivalve Recovery on Washed Heterogeneous Beaches in Prince William Sound, EXXON VALDEZ Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report, Restoration Project 10100574, 165 p.

Abstracts & Presentations

Links below will bring you to online, downloadable versions of recent ppt presentations or posters. Or, feel free to contact us for pdf copies of any of the following abstracts or their associated presentations or posters.

Lees, D.C., Hein, C.J., in review, Comparison of heterogeneous coarse-grained and homogeneous sediments: Do they represent distinctively different paradigms? Estuarine and Coastal Sciences, 2018.

Hein, C.J., Lees, D.C., Carruthers, E.A., FitzGerald, D.M., 2012, Sediment organization in the heterogeneous, coarse-grained beaches of western Prince William Sound: Long-term effects of post-oil spill beach washing, Alaska Marine Sciences Symposium 2012, 16-20 January 2012, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Lees, D.C., Hein, C.J., Carruthers, E.A., 2012, Status of hard-shell clam assemblages in organized coarse-grained sediments in western Prince William Sound – A preliminary report, Alaska Marine Sciences Symposium 2012, 16-20 January 2012, Anchorage, Alaska.