Cheryl Hapke, Ph.D.

I am a research coastal geologist at the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) in St. Petersburg, FL. My scientific expertise is focused on coastal change processes over multiple time and spatial scales and in a variety of geomorphic environments.


I began my career at the USGS in 1997 at the Pacific Science Center in Santa Cruz, CA, where I studied coastal cliff erosion hazards and coastal landslide processes. In 2005, I relocated to the East Coast, first working with the National Park Service through Patuxent  Wildlife Research Center at University of Rhode Island and then through the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center.  My research focused on beach erosion hazards and processes along the East Coast and in particular at Fire Island, NY.  In 2011, I transferred to the St Petersburg (FL) Coastal and Marine Science center expanded my research to study the impacts of Hurricane Sandy to Fire Island, which has made a significant contribution to the broad understanding of how barrier islands respond to and recover from major storms.  I served a 3 month detail to FEMA in the months following Sandy, providing expertise in coastal science to numerous federal and NY State agencies as part of the National Disaster Recovery Framework.

Ph.D., Coastal Geology, University of California, Santa Cruz, California   
M.S., Geology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 
B.S., Geology; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania