Citizen Science in shifting sands

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 9:00am


graphic of two beach profiling volunteers taking a measurement the beach near the waterline with text overlay, "Citizen Science in shifting sands"


In a changing climate, sea-level rise, storm surge, and erosion all threaten our coasts’ sandy beaches. How can researchers hope to keep a finger on the pulse of the shifting sands? Across the Sea Grant network, volunteer citizen scientists from local communities are getting involved. Teams from New Hampshire, Maine, and California Sea Grant programs brave sub-zero temperatures, gale force winds, and packed tourist seasons to collect year-round beach profile data. 

Beach profile volunteers survey the contour (or slope) of a beach, monitoring how beaches change over time. Long-term beach profile data are then used by scientists and resource managers to better understand beach dynamics and to make important decisions about beach management. 

Read the full, interactive story about how Sea Grant volunteers are helping communities learn more about their valuable beaches and changing coastlines, here.

Read the Interactive Story


U.S. map showing 3 locations for Sea Grant beach profiling community science efforts: southern California coast, New Hampshire coast, and southern Maine coast


Story by:

Tim Briggs, NH Sea Grant Science Communication Specialist