Emily A Himmelstoss


Emily Himmelstoss is a geologist with expertise in historical shoreline change analysis and the impact of geologic processes and human activities on the form and history of coastal beaches.  She has more than a decade of experience guiding the development and testing of the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) software, which is used by national and state governments worldwide in support of critical coastal decision-making and policy. 


Emily has participated in the National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards (NACCH) project since 2007, where the DSAS software enabled the measurement of shoreline change rates at 50-meter intervals around the coastal waters of the United States. These data and the new understanding of coastal change patterns it described have been widely used to further scientific research and coastal management goals.


Since 2012 Emily has been part of a team developing the NACCH web portal that uses new methods to visualize and access data, models, and tools for application by federal and state agencies, NGOs, municipalities, and private citizens. Development has used an agile software approach that has led to adopting this method on the DSAS software project, due to the ease at which this method allows rapid and flexible response to the evolution of the project through time. It is heavily interdisciplinary work that involves geologists, oceanographers, informatics scientists, and software engineers with expertise in database and human interface design. The portal currently provides direct access to NACCH assessments of extreme storm, coastal erosion, and sea-level change impacts.