Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support. Additionally, USGS will not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For more information, please see www.doi.gov/shutdown
Ph.D., Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, in progress
M.S., Applied Geography, University of North Texas, 2010
B.S., Geography, University of North Texas, 2007
Nicholas Enwright is a Geographer at the U.S. Geological Survey's Wetland and Aquatic Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. His research topics typically include GIS and remote sensing applications to natural resource assessments and restoration monitoring with an emphasis on barrier islands and coastal wetlands.
See Google Scholar for an updated list of publications.
Science and Products
USGS Technical Support for Coastal/Wetlands Ecology: Spatial Analysis and Application for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC)
The Gulf Coastal Prairie (GCP) includes areas within Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas as well as Mexico. The GCP Landscape Conservation Cooperative aims to conserve prairie grasslands which helps migratory birds and other wildlife that rely on these ecosystems.
The Gulf Coast Joint Venture (GCJV) was established in 1988 as a result of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, which espouses the restoration of continental waterfowl populations through conservation partnerships in priority habitat regions. Since that time GCJV partners have expanded their mission and purpose to include the provision of habitat to support other priority bird species...
Barrier islands provide numerous invaluable ecosystem goods and services including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, recreation, and tourism. These islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, wave energy, tides, currents, and...
Dauphin Island, Alabama, is the only barrier island providing protection to much of Alabama's coastal natural resources. Severely impacted by repeated extreme events, like Hurricane Katrina and Deepwater Horizon oil spill, USGS and partners are conducting a joint study to evaluate the feasibility of certain alternatives to increase resiliency and sustainability of the island.
Climate and plant controls on soil organic matter in coastal wetlands
Coastal wetlands are among the most productive and carbon‐rich ecosystems on Earth. Long‐term carbon storage in coastal wetlands occurs primarily belowground as soil organic matter (SOM). In addition to serving as a carbon sink, SOM influences wetland ecosystem structure, function, and stability. To anticipate and mitigate the effects of climate...Osland, Michael J.; Gabler, Christopher A.; Grace, James B.; Day, Richard H.; McCoy, Meagan L.; McLeod, Jennie L.; From, Andrew S.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Feher, Laura C.; Stagg, Camille L.; Hartley, Stephen B.
Coastal wetland adaptation to sea level rise: Quantifying potential for landward migration and coastal squeeze
Coastal wetland ecosystems are expected to migrate landwards in response to rising seas. However, due to differences in topography and coastal urbanization, estuaries vary in their ability to accommodate migration. Low‐lying urban areas can constrain migration and lead to wetland loss (i.e. coastal squeeze), especially where existing wetlands...Borchert, Sinéad M.; Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen
The impact of lidar elevation uncertainty on mapping intertidal habitats on barrier islands
While airborne lidar data have revolutionized the spatial resolution that elevations can be realized, data limitations are often magnified in coastal settings. Researchers have found that airborne lidar can have a vertical error as high as 60 cm in densely vegetated intertidal areas. The uncertainty of digital elevation models is often left...Enwright, Nicholas M.; Wang, Lei; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard H.; Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.
Linear and nonlinear effects of temperature and precipitation on ecosystem properties in tidal saline wetlands
Climate greatly influences the structure and functioning of tidal saline wetland ecosystems. However, there is a need to better quantify the effects of climatic drivers on ecosystem properties, particularly near climate-sensitive ecological transition zones. Here, we used climate- and literature-derived ecological data from tidal saline wetlands...Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Grace, James B.; Howard, Rebecca J.; Stagg, Camille L.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Krauss, Ken W.; Gabler, Christopher A.; Day, Richard H.; Rogers, Kerrylee
Assessing coastal wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast: Gaps and opportunities for developing a coordinated regional sampling network
Coastal wetland responses to sea-level rise are greatly influenced by biogeomorphic processes that affect wetland surface elevation. Small changes in elevation relative to sea level can lead to comparatively large changes in ecosystem structure, function, and stability. The surface elevation table-marker horizon (SET-MH) approach is being used...Osland, Michael J.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Larriviere, Jack C.; Feher, Laura C.; Cahoon, Donald R.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Oster, David A.; Tirpak, John M.; Woodrey, Mark S.; Collini, Renee C.; Baustian, Joseph J.; Breithaupt, Joshua L.; Cherry, Julia A; Conrad, Jeremy R.; Cormier, Nicole; Coronado-Molina, Carlos A.; Donoghue, Joseph F.; Graham, Sean A.; Harper, Jennifer W.; Hester, Mark W.; Howard, Rebecca J.; Krauss, Ken W.; Kroes, Daniel; Lane, Robert R.; McKee, Karen L.; Mendelssohn, Irving A.; Middleton, Beth A.; Moon, Jena A.; Piazza, Sarai; Rankin, Nicole M.; Sklar, Fred H.; Steyer, Gregory D.; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Swarzenski, Christopher M.; Vervaeke, William; Willis, Jonathan M; Van Wilson, K.
Barrier island habitat map and vegetation survey—Dauphin Island, Alabama, 2015
Barrier islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, waves, tides, currents, and relative sea-level rise are powerful forces that shape barrier island geomorphology and habitats (for example, beach, dune, marsh, and forest). Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010 are two...Enwright, Nicholas M.; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard H.; Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.; Wang, Lei; Wang, Hongqing
Delineation of marsh types and marsh-type change in coastal Louisiana for 2007 and 2013
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management researchers often require detailed information regarding emergent marsh vegetation types (such as fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline) for modeling habitat capacities and mitigation. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management produced a detailed...Hartley, Stephen B.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Enwright, Nicholas M.
Macroclimatic change expected to transform coastal wetland ecosystems this century
Coastal wetlands, existing at the interface between land and sea, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Macroclimate (for example, temperature and precipitation regimes) greatly influences coastal wetland ecosystem structure and function. However, research on climate change impacts in coastal wetlands has concentrated primarily on sea-level...Gabler, Christopher A.; Osland, Michael J.; Grace, James B.; Stagg, Camille L.; Day, Richard H.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; From, Andrew; McCoy, Meagan L.; McLeod, Jennie L.
Climatic controls on the global distribution, abundance, and species richness of mangrove forests
Mangrove forests are highly productive tidal saline wetland ecosystems found along sheltered tropical and subtropical coasts. Ecologists have long assumed that climatic drivers (i.e., temperature and rainfall regimes) govern the global distribution, structure, and function of mangrove forests. However, data constraints have hindered the...Osland, Michael J.; Feher, Laura C.; Griffith, Kereen; Cavanaugh, Kyle C.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Day, Richard H.; Stagg, Camille L.; Krauss, Ken W.; Howard, Rebecca J.; Grace, James B.; Rogers, Kerrylee
Barriers to and opportunities for landward migration of coastal wetlands with sea-level rise
In the 21st century, accelerated sea-level rise and continued coastal development are expected to greatly alter coastal landscapes across the globe. Historically, many coastal ecosystems have responded to sea-level fluctuations via horizontal and vertical movement on the landscape. However, anthropogenic activities, including urbanization and the...Enwright, Nicholas M.; Griffith, Kereen T.; Osland, Michael J.
Radar and optical mapping of surge persistence and marsh dieback along the New Jersey Mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy
This study combined a radar-based time series of Hurricane Sandy surge and estimated persistence with optical sensor-based marsh condition change to assess potential causal linkages of surge persistence and marsh condition change along the New Jersey Atlantic Ocean coast. Results based on processed TerraSAR-X and COSMO-SkyMed synthetic aperture...Rangoonwala, Amina; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Ramsey, Elijah W.; Spruce, Joseph P.
Beyond just sea-level rise: Considering macroclimatic drivers within coastal wetland vulnerability assessments to climate change
Due to their position at the land-sea interface, coastal wetlands are vulnerable to many aspects of climate change. However, climate change vulnerability assessments for coastal wetlands generally focus solely on sea-level rise without considering the effects of other facets of climate change. Across the globe and in all ecosystems, macroclimatic...Osland, Michael J.; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Day, Richard H.; Gabler, Christopher A.; Stagg, Camille L.; Grace, James B.
As coastal development along the Gulf Coast continues to expand, tidal saline wetlands could have difficulty adjusting to rising sea levels.