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Emily A Himmelstoss

Emily Himmelstoss is the Acting Associate Program Coordinator for Science, Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program within the Natural Hazards Mission Area. Her work has focused on historical shoreline change analysis as a proxy for assessing the impact of geologic processes and human activities on the form and history of coastal beaches.

Career History

For more than fifteen years Emily Himmelstoss has led the development of the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) software, which is used globally in support of critical coastal decision-making. Recently, she has worked with a team of research scientists, data experts, and science communicators to develop a framework for the Coastal Change Hazards (CCH) programmatic focus to better integrate basic and applied coastal science research and science-based data products across the Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program. The CCH framework facilitates the exchange of new ideas and approaches, collaborative project development, and the prioritization of coastal research and products as informed by Programmatic requirements and National needs.

She leads a project providing applied technical expertise, methods and data visualization to sustain regional to national-scale CCH assessment products, supports the advancement of CCH data sharing efforts, and has coordinated a cross-center technical cooperative to serve as a resource for projects across CMHRP.

She is a member of the steering committee on a project implementing an iterative user engagement strategy designed to inform how CMHRP science products are communicated through a codesign process with stakeholders. The intent of this effort is to make discovery and communication of CCH scientific data more effective, efficient, and meaningful for coastal hazards planning and preparedness.

Emily’s previous work included participation in a national-scale project assessing Coastal Change Hazards, specifically working to compile a comprehensive database of historical shoreline positions that were used along with the DSAS software to compute shoreline change rates for the open 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 objectives. Since 2012 she has been part of a team developing the USGS Coastal Change Hazards (CCH) portal, a web visualization platform. This website provides an accessible mapping interface for federal and state agencies, NGOs, municipalities, and private citizens to visualize and access the portfolio of CCH assessments of extreme storm, coastal erosion, and sea-level change impact data.

Science and Products