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.

USGS Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Applications Project

Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazards Susceptibility

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


In Review:

  • Patrick Limber, Monica Palaseanu-Lovejoy, Jeffrey Danielson, and Patrick Barnard, 201., Time scale bias in sea cliff retreat rates and its bearing on coastal hazard predictions, Geophysical Research Letters
  • Payo, A., Antelo, B.J., Hurst, M., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Williams, C., Jenkins, G., lee, K., Favis-Mortlock, D., Barkwidth, A., Ellis, M.A., 2018, Development of an automatic delineation of cliff top and toe on very irregular platform coastlines, Development and technical papers


  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Poppenga, S.K., Danielson, J.J., Tyler, D.J., Gesch, D.B., Kottermair, M., Jalandoni, A., Carlson, E., Thatcher, C.A., and Barbee, M.M., 2018, One meter topobathymetric digital elevation model for Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 1944 to 2016: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report, 2018-5047, 16 p.,
  • Poppenga, S.K., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Gesch, D.B., Danielson, J.J., and Tyler, D.J., 2018, Evaluating the potential for near-shore bathymetry on the Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, using Landsat 8 and WorldView-3 imagery: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report, 2018-5024, 14 p.,
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Poppenga, S.K., Danielson, J.J, Tyler, D.J., Gesch, D.B., Kottermair, M., Jalandoni, A., Carlson, E., Thatcher, C., and Barbee, M., 2017, One Meter Topobathymetric Digital Elevation Model for Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, 1944 to 2016: U.S. Geological Survey data release,
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Danielson, J., Thatcher, C., Foxgrover, A., Barnard, P., Brock, J., and Young, A., 2016, Automatic delineation of sea-cliff limits using lidar-derived high-resolution DEMs in southern California: Journal of Coastal Research, SI no. 76, p. 162–173, at
  • Thatcher, C.A., Brock, J.C., Danielson, J.J., Poppenga, S.K., Gesch, D.B., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M.E., Barras, J.A., Evans, G.A., and Gibbs, A.E., 2016, Creating a Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) for science and conservation applications: Journal of Coastal Research, SI no. 76, p. 64–74, at
  • Thatcher, C.A., Lim, S., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Danielson, J.J., and Kimbrow, D.R.,2016, Comparison of airborne and terrestrial lidar to map levees in south Louisiana, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 37:24, p. 5708-5725, at
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Thatcher, C.A., and Barras, J.A., 2014, Levee crest elevation profiles derived from airborne lidar-based high resolution digital elevation models in south Louisiana: ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, v. 91, p. 114-126, at
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., 2013, How Hurricanes Shape Wetlands in Southern Louisiana, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Ocean Portal Blog,
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Kranenburg, C.J., Barras, J.A., and Brock, J.C., 2013, Land loss due to recent hurricanes in Coastal Louisiana, U.S.A: Journal of Coastal Research, v. 63, Special Issue, p. 97-109, at
  • C. Kranenburg, M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, A. Nayegandhi, and R. Woodman. 2012. Unsupervised Classification of Lidar-based Vegetation Structure Metrics at Jean Lafitte National Park (JELA). U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2012-1096,
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., Kranenburg, C.J., and Brock, J.C., 2012, Land change analysis from recent hurricane impacts in Delacroix, Louisiana (2004-2009) using multi-source imagery: U.S. Geological Survey Series Investigations Map 3207, 1 sheet plus 9 p. pamphlet, at
  • M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, C. Kranenburg, J. Brock, J. Barras. 2011. Recent wetland land loss due to hurricanes: improved estimates based upon multiple source images, in Proceedings of Coastal Sediments 2011, Miami, Fl, vol. 3, pp. 2253-2270.
  • Brock, J.C., Palaseanu-Lovejoy, M., and Segura, M. 2011. Lidar vegetation mapping in national parks: Gulf coast network: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3137, 2 p
  • J.C. Brock and M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy. 2010. Lidar morphometric analysis of Alina Reef, Biscayne National Park, Florida, USA. 2010, in Hopley, D., ed., Encyclopedia of modern coral reefs; structure, form, and process. New York, Springer Verlag
  • M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, C. Kranenburg, and J.C. Brock. 2010. Land Area Change and Fractional Water Maps in the Chenier Plain, Louisiana, Following Atlantic Hurricane Rita (2005). U.S. Geological Survey Series investigation Map 3141, 10p. map and pamphlet -
  • J.C. Brock, M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, R. Poore, A. Nayegandhi, and C. W. Wright. 2010. Holocene aggradation of the Dry Tortugas coral reef ecosystem. Coral Reefs, 29: 857 - 868
  • M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, A. Nayegandhi, J. C. Brock, R. Woodman, and C. W. Wright.2009.  Evaluation of Airborne Lidar Data to Predict Vegetation Presence / Absence. Journal of Coastal Research, vol. 26, no. 6, Special Issue 53, p. 83 –97.
  • Palaseanu-Lovejoy, Monica, Ian Douglas, and Robert Barr. "Mapping the Contaminant Legacy of a Coking Plant, The Avenue, Chesterfield, UK." Interfacing Geostatistics and GIS. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2009. 161-171.
  • J. C. Brock, M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, C. W. Wright, and A. Nayegandhi. 2008. Patch-reef morphology as a proxy for Holocene sea-level variability, Northern Florida Keys, USA. Coral Reefs 27: 555 - 568
  • M. Palaseanu-Lovejoy, L. Pearlstine. 2008. Estimation of water surface elevations for the Everglades, Florida. Computers and Geosciences, vol. 34, no. 7, pp. 815 - 826