Given that the majority of the world’s population lives along the coast, sea level is rising, and hurricanes are expected to increase in intensity in the future, it has become more important than ever to understand mechanisms driving coastal change.

In the Coastal Environmental Change Lab (CECL; directed by Dr. Laura Moore) our research focuses on the large-scale evolution of coastal environments with an emphasis on understanding the impacts of climate change on barrier coastlines.  Using a combination of field and numerical techniques we investigate:

  • Barrier island response to rising sea level, changing storm frequency and anthropogenic reductions in overwash
  • Coastal foredune dynamics
  • The role of ecomorphodynamics (i.e., interactions between ecological and physical processes) in the evolution of barrier island-marsh-bay systems
  • The effects of changing wave climate on patterns of coastline change
  • Couplings between natural coastal processes and human alterations to the coastal system.
  • Arts-based approaches to climate change education


Nature Climate Change features article on Barrier Islands by Moore and former postdoc Orencio Duran.

See The Hog Blog to follow our summer field experiment.

Endeavors Magazine features Moore’s Outer Banks research.

Earth Magazine features publication by Moore et al.

Seeking Ph.D students to begin Fall 2015

See the Geological Sciences Application Procedures web page and contact Laura Moore for more information. The application deadline is December 15.