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Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy, PhD

Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy is a Research Geographer at GMEG Science Center. Since joining the USGS in 2006, Monica has devoted her career to studying coastal environments and more. Presently her research focuses on erosion and landslides in coastal cliffs and bluffs, structure from motion using satellite imagery, and satellite derived bathymetry.

Monica has a BS and MS in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania, a MS in Environmental
Science and Policy from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, and a PhD in Geography from the University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. Monica has devoted her career to studying coastal environments and specializes in spatial statistics and exploratory data analysis, GIS technologies, remote sensing, primarily lidar, satellite imagery and structure-from-motion, and geospatial data.

Monica has investigated and analyzed impacts of extreme storm events in the Gulf of Mexico, focusing on land loss, vulnerability and sea-level rise, as well as sea cliffs / bluff erosion and episodic land-slides in California and northern slope of Alaska. Currently she is a task lead for the USGS Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Applications Project.

Her research focus is environmental modelling, with a specialization in exploratory spatial data analysis, spatial statistics and modelling, Monte Carlo simulation and Bayesian modelling, pattern and cluster analysis as well as GIS, and remote sensing, including lidar and structure-from-motion. One of her strengths is population distribution analysis and linking patterns and trends to probable factors influencing or generating the data.


  • Coastal geomorphology, erosion, sea-level rise, land loss, impact of extreme storm events
  • Structure-from-motion photogrammetry as alternative for mapping topography in remote areas, and rapid response to extreme events
  • Vegetation analysis and metrics extraction using discrete and wave-form lidar point clouds
  • Societal costs of sea level rise inundation