Erika Lentz, Ph.D.

My research focuses on coastal change due to storms, sea-level rise, and the geology of an area.


 I explore how change varies among different ecosystems and across landscapes, and what makes certain locations more resilient than others.  Additionally, I am interested in the meaningful communication of scientific information to support decision-making.  Recently these subjects have been addressed in several projects:

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Selected Publications:      (PDF copies of papers are available, please email me:

Coastal Landscape Change

Lentz, E.E., Thieler, E.R., Plant, N.P, Stippa, S.R., Horton, R., and Gesch, D.B. (2016).  Evaluation of dynamic coastal response to sea-level rise modifies inundation likelihood.  Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2957

Lentz, E.E., Stippa, S.R., Thieler, E.R., Plant, N.G., Gesch, D.B., and Horton, R.M. (2015). Evaluating coastal landscape response to sea-level rise in the northeastern United States—Approach and methods: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1252,

Lentz, E.E., Stippa, S.R., Thieler, E.R., Plant, N.G., Gesch, D.B., and Horton, R.M. (2015).  Coastal landscape response to sea-level rise assessment for the northeastern United States: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Barrier Island Change

Wilson, K.E., Adams, P.N., Hapke, C.J., Lentz, E.E., and Brenner, O. (2015).  Application of Bayesian Networks to hindcast barrier island morphodynamics.  Coastal Engineering, 102, p. 30-43.

Lentz, E.E., Hapke, C.J., Stockdon, H.S., and Hehre, R.E. (2013).  Improving understanding of near-term barrier island evolution through multi-decadal assessment of morphologic change.  Marine Geology, 337, p. 125-139.

Schwab, W.C., Baldwin, W.E., Hapke, C.J., Lentz, E.E., Gayes, P.T., Denny, J.F., List, J.H., and Warner, J.C. (2013).  Geologic evidence for onshore sediment transport from the inner-continental shelf: Fire Island, New York.  Journal of Coastal Research, 29(3), p. 536-544.

Lentz, E.E., and Hapke, C.J. (2011).  Geologic framework influences on the geomorphology of an anthropogenically modified barrier island: Assessment of dune/beach changes at Fire Island, New York.  Geomorphology, 126, p. 82-96.

Hapke, C.J., Lentz, E.E., Gayes, P.T., McCoy, C.A., Hehre, R., Schwab, W.C., and Williams, S.J.(2010).  A review of sediment budget imbalances along Fire Island, New York: can nearshore geologic framework and patterns of shoreline change explain the deficit?  Journal of Coastal Research, 26(3), p. 510-522.

Lentz, E.E., and Hapke, C.J., (2011).  The development of a probabilistic approach to forecast coastal change.  Proceedings of the Coastal Sediments 2011 Conference, May 2-6, Miami, Florida.