Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy

Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy has been engaged in coastal geomorphology science research since 2006.  She has an extensive background in spatial statistics and exploratory data analysis, GIS technologies, remote sensing, including lidar 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.

Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy 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.


  • 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


  • Ph.D. 2005, Geography, The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom Dissertation: Alternative geostatistical approaches to the assessment of a contaminated site
  • MSc. 2001, Environmental Science and Policy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • J. William Fulbright Scholar (1999 -2000), University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • BS. and MSc., 1990, Geology and Geophysics, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania


  • 2018-present: Research Geographer, Geology, Mineralogy, Energy, Geophysics (GMEG) Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.
  • 2012-2018: Research Geographer, Eastern Geographic Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.
  • 2006-2012: Contractor; Physical Scientist, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, FL
  • 2005-2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Florida, Research and Education Center, IFAS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 2003-2005: Environmental Scientist, Greater Manchester Geological Unit, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 1997-1998: Director Assistant, United Nations Development Program, National Centre for Sustainable Development, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1992-1997: Curator and Research Assistant, Bucharest University, Faculty of Geology and Geophysics, Bucharest, Romania
  • 1990-1992: Engineer Geologist, S.C. Prospectiuni S.A., Hydrocarbons Geological Survey, Bucharest, Romania