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Cheryl Hapke's Thesis Defense at the University of California, Santa Cruz

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Cheryl Hapke, of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP), successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis in Earth sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), on July 18. Her presentation went very well, according to thesis advisor Gary Griggs, a professor of Earth sciences and Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UCSC.

Cheryl's thesis research focused on using the most current high-precision photogrammetry and geographic-information-system (GIS) methods to determine the spatial and temporal scale of coastal land loss and coastal-erosion rates. She worked on several different but related problems. For example, she quantitatively assessed the significance of episodic events (such as the 1997-98 El Niño and the 1989 Loma Prieta, Calif., earthquake) on coastal-cliff failure in the northern Monterey Bay area. Then she compared these episodic events to long-term (50 yr) cliff-erosion rates determined by former CMGP scientist Laura Moore (St. Petersburg, FL) when she was a Ph.D. student at UCSC. Cheryl was able to show that episodic events are extremely important in accounting for the long-term erosion rates. She also worked on a second project along the Big Sur Coast Highway (a segment of California Highway 1), where she used photogrammetry to determine areas of hillslope degradation and accumulation to assess the overall volumetric importance of slope failures along this steep coastline. This project was an attempt ultimately to discover whether slope failures in the vicinity of California Highway 1 are significant components of overall sediment contributions to the nearshore waters of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Cheryl's dissertation is entitled "Multi-Scale 3D Mapping of Coastal Cliff Erosion and Coastal Landslides in Central California: Applications in Digital Photogrammetry and GIS." Much of her research on coastal landslides has been funded by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and she will give a presentation at the National Highway Geology Symposium in San Luis Obispo, CA, in August.

Related Web Sites
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of California, Santa Cruz
Coastal & Marine Geology Program
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Southern California Offshore Hazards Survey

Mapping Georges Bank

Research Ground Water Diesel Fuel Contamination

Parasites as Indicators of Coastal-Ecosystem Health

Outreach Florida's Hillsborough River

Climate-Change Effects Lecture

Meetings Coral-Reef Meeting

usSEABED - Seabed Characteristics

Awards Lake Mead Poster

von Huene Receives Prestigious Award

Staff & Center News Hapke's Thesis Defense

New WHFC Employees

WHFC Summer Interns

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