Earth and Ocean Sciences

Faculty & Student News


Posted on 06/20/2022

EOS Professor Shannon Klotsko is a co-author of a new paper in the journal World Archaeology entitled “Re-evaluating terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene settlement patterns with Chirp subbottom data from around California’s Northern Channel Islands”. See the paper at:

EOS Professor Peter Haproff is a co-author of a new paper in the journal Geosphere entitled "Paleoproterozoic-Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the Longshou Shan, western North China craton". Check out the paper at:


Posted on 06/19/2022

EOS Professor Ralph Mead and Nursing Professor Jen McCall were recently awarded a UNCW Research Momentum Grant for a collaborative project entitled "Discovering the Role Replacement Per- and Polyfluoralkyl Substances Play in Chronic and Acute Inflammation"


Posted on 06/18/2022

EOS Professor Mike Benedetti is a co-author of a new paper in the prestigious journal Nature Communications entitled "SPIN enables high throughput species identification of archaeological bone by proteomics". Check out the paper at:


Posted on 06/17/2022

EOS Professor Ralph Mead has been awarded the inaugural North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Applied Research Fellowship to advance the science of PFAS in the state. See the news article from UNCW at:



Posted on 05/15/2022

Thank you to everyone that attended the EOS Commencement Ceremony and big congratulations to our 2022 graduates! Very proud!



Posted on 05/11/2022

EOS Professor Peng Gao is a co-author of a recent paper in Journal of Environmental Informatics entitled "Improving Soil Salinity Simulation by Assimilating Electromagnetic Induction Data into HYDRUS Model Using Ensemble Kalman Filter". See the paper at:

EOS Professor Emeritus Patricia Kelley is a co-author of a recent paper in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution entitled "Core Competencies for Training Conservation Paleobiology Students in a Wicked World". See the paper at:


Posted on 05/06/2022

Huge congratulations to EOS undergrad Elijah Dalton who was awarded the 2022 Student Scholarship from the NC ArcGIS Users Group Inc. Elijah will present his work at the NCAUG Fall Conference in Carolina Beach. Elijah will also be enrolling in the EOS M.S. Geoscience program under Professor Narcisa Pricope beginning in the Fall of 2022.


Posted on 05/04/2022

Huge congrats to EOS MS Geoscience student Kelsey Albert on the successful completion of her portfolio defense and degree!


Posted on 05/03/2022

Massive congratulations to EOS MS Geoscience students Greer Shivers, Chris Blanco, Will Benfield, Amanda Tomlinson, and Megan Lapinsky on successfully defending their thesis/portfolio projects this semester! Also, big congrats to EOS BS Geology student Melia Eaton on successfully defending her Undergraduate Honors Thesis!


Posted on 05/02/2022

EOS Professor Joanne Halls, Department Manager Yvonne Marsan, and M.S. Geoscience students Carter Eckhardt and Will Benfield were interviewed on Spectrum News 1 regarding cutting-edge geospatial techniques used to investigate geomorphological responses to both anthropogenic and natural processes along our coastlines. Watch the interview at:


Posted 04/27/2022

EOS MS Geoscience student Jesse Scopa (pictured), advised by Dr. Narcisa Pricope, has been selected as a Student Assistant for the highly-competitive 2022 Esri User Conference in San Diego, California. Jesse will receive full financial support to attend this massive, annual gathering of geospatial scientists and businesses, and will represent the EOS Department for the duration of the event. Congrats to Jesse!


 Posted on 04/26/2022

EOS MS Geoscience student William Benfield will defend his thesis entitled "An Automated Multitemporal Geospatial Model to Classify Barrier Island Land Cover and Geomorphology" on Monday, May 2nd at 9 AM via Zoom. See the attached image for the Zoom link.


Posted 04/26/2022

EOS BS Geography Honors student Elijah Dalton (pictured) has been accepted into the highly competitive NASA DEVELOP internship program, funded through the North Carolina Space Grant for a 10-week term this summer. Information about the program can be found here:
In short, the program aims to address environmental and public policy issues via NASA earth observations. Elijah is working with Dr. Narcisa Pricope and recently traveled to Aurora, Colorado to present his work at the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation GEOINT symposium. Elijah will also be enrolling in our M.S. Geoscience program for Fall of 2022.


Posted 04/25/2022

The UNCW GEOINT program was represented by an amazing group of EOS and EVS students at this year’s GEOINT SYMPOSIUM in Aurora, CO. Research posters were presented by Jesse Scopa, Greer Shivers, Carter Eckhardt, Elijah Dalton, and Kate Sullivan. The students are advised by Dr. Narcisa Pricope, Dr. Joanne Halls, and Dr. Devon Eulie.



Posted 04/25/2022

MS Geoscience student Greer Shivers will defend her thesis entitled "Assessing the Vulnerability of Wetlands to Identify Locations for Nature-Based Solutions to Mitigate Coastal Flooding" on Thursday, April 28th at 10 AM via Zoom. See the Zoom information in the attached image. Please direct any questions to thesis advisor Professor Narcisa Pricope (



Posted 04/22/2022

Massive congratulations to EOS MS students Thomas Hutsler, Ben Ammerman, and Laura Grim on successfully defending their theses/portfolio projects this semester!


Posted 04/22/2022

MS Marine Science student Chris Blanco will defend his thesis on Tuesday, May 3rd at 8 AM in the Center for Marine Science auditorium. The defense will also be held virtually on Zoom. Please contact thesis advisor Dr. Andrea Hawkes ( for Zoom information.


Posted 04/20/2022

MS Geoscience student Thomas Hutsler will defend his thesis entitled “Detecting woody plants in southern Arizona using data from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)” tomorrow, Thursday, April 21st at 8 AM. The thesis defense will be held via Zoom:



Posted 04/19/2022

EOS Professor Joanne Halls was recently interviewed by Spectrum News to discuss NC’s saltmarshes and the threats they face. Dr. Halls has been studying saltmarshes, barrier islands, and other coastal features for most of her career and provided some fascinating insight into these important environments and the cutting-edge tools we use to study them. See the interview with Spectrum at:



Posted 04/18/2022

MS Geoscience student Amanda Tomlinson will defend her thesis entitled "Compound-specific hydrogen isotope analysis of lacustrine sediments to establish late-Holocene paleoprecipitation dynamics at Laguna Arancibia, Costa Rica" on Monday, May 2nd at 10:00 AM in DeLoach Hall Room 105.



Posted on 04/11/2022

EOS undergraduate student Melia Eaton will defend her Honors Thesis entitled "Analysis of the Deep Direct-Use Geothermal Potential of the Upper Atlantic Coastal Plain, North Carolina" on Thursday, April 28th at 4:30 PM EST in DeLoach Room 114. Please contact undergraduate advisor Roger Shew ( for more information.



Posted on 04/6/2022

SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT! Dr. Sara Rivero-Calle (University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography) will discuss her research to EOS via Zoom on Friday, April 8th at 3 pm.

Title: Satellites, Ships and a Zoo of Algae: Optical Oceanography initiatives at UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO)

Abstract: Current trends in oceanographic research include increasing the spatial and temporal resolution of observations, optimizing time at sea, and promoting data-sharing. Funding agencies are investing in automated measurements and the integration of multi-platform data. The Rivero-Calle Lab at UGA SkIO is currently leading three exciting projects with different scales and resolutions but with the ultimate goal of investing in optical measurements to advance the field of Oceanography. This seminar will be an overview of 1) status of the SeaHawk/HawkEye Ocean Color CubeSat Mission, a multimillion-dollar project to design, build and launch the first dedicated ocean color nanosatellite. This is an unusual partnership between the University of North Carolina Wilmington, NASA and private industries, that was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Rivero-Calle is one of the Science Team members, leading the image acquisition, validation initiatives, and acting as a liaison with the ocean color community. 2) The “BiOMe” (Biogeochemical Optical Measurements) Project is a new NSF-funded grant to install a flow-through system with a robust multidisciplinary suite of optical sensors on the R/V Savannah. This will increase the amount and types of oceanographic data collected underway, vastly increasing the efficiency of the days at sea, 3) the Phytoplankton Light Scattering Instrument (PPLS) Prototype is a new hyperspectral backscattering instrument to characterize plankton optical properties in laboratory settings.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 858 8756 2769

Passcode: 161386



Posted on 03/25/2022

EOS Professor Narcisa Pricope is a co-author on a newly published paper written in collaboration with colleagues Peru's flagship agrarian university, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNLAM) and just published in Remote Sensing that provides a first example of combining field-collected data with machine learning algorithms and cloud-computing to map complex land cover types in high-alpine Andean rangelands. The work is part of Samuel Edwin Pizarro's PhD thesis work (on whose PhD committee Dr. Pricope is serving as an external member) and supported by Dr. Javier Arturo Ñaupari Vásquez's lab from multiple funding sources. Dr. Pricope was able to participate in this research in Peru in 2018 with generous funding from the Fulbright Association through a Fulbright Senior Specialist Program award (and the grace of UNCW allowing her to travel and work there for one month during a regular academic semester). During my time in Peru, we had the incredible opportunity to visit the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve in central Peru with a team a students and my then-3 year old daughter to collect not only vegetation but also biomass and UAS data, as well as train students in the use and operation of UASs. Sometimes, the process of data collection to publication can be lengthy but the connections we make and the friendships we form last a lifetime! Stay tuned for the publication of the UAS-components of this work! See the paper at:


Posted on 03/18/2022

EOS Professor Eman Ghoneim recently secured a grant for $59,250 from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Armed Forces office. The project is entitled ‘Capacity Building in the Field of Geospatial and Geointelligence Technologies’, and focuses on the capacity building of international scholars in the field of Geospatial and Geointelligence technologies. The project contains mini applied projects that can help in the transfer of skills and knowledge of the GIS and Remote sensing sciences to academics and professionals with a particular focus on natural hazards and natural resources sciences.

Posted on 03/14/2022

EOS Senior Lecturer Roger Shew was recently interview by Spectrum News 1 to discuss his research of sea-level rise and flooding in coastal North Carolina. See the article at:


Posted on 02/28/2022

EOS Professor Peter Haproff is a co-author if a new paper entitled “Proterozoic-Phanerozoic tectonic evolution of the Qilian Shan and Eastern Kunlun Range, northern Tibet,” published in the journal GSA Bulletin. See the paper at


Posted 02/24/2022

Dr. Mike Benedetti and colleagues received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation for geoarchaeological research at Lapa do Picareiro near Fatima, Portugal. The new project, “Neanderthal Adaptations to Climate and Environmental Change,” seeks to uncover evidence of Neanderthal populations and the landscapes they inhabited in Western Europe prior to 42,000 years ago. The grant supports excavation, mapping, and sampling activities by UNCW students and faculty, who join a team from the University of Louisville (Kentucky), University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), and University of Algarve (Portugal).



Posted on 02/24/2022

RESEARCH SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: Please find attached the flyer for our first research seminar on Friday, Feb 25th at 3 pm. The talk will be delivered by Dr. Grace Andrews, VP of Scientific Research, Project Vesta, Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). Below is the title, abstract, and Zoom link of the presentation (also in the attached flyer).
Title: Repurposing a paradigm: Coastal Enhanced Weathering as an emerging Negative Emission Technology
Abstract: Climate change is impacting humans and the environment around the world. To meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 2∘C by 2100, Negative Emission Technologies (NETs), which actively remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, are required. In this talk, Dr. Andrews will discuss Coastal Enhanced Weathering, a NET developed from decades-long research into chemical weathering, the Earth’s natural process for regulating atmospheric CO2 levels. She will share results from Project Vesta’s interdisciplinary research program on Coastal Enhanced Weathering, aimed at assessing its safety, efficiency, and scale potential, updates from the world’s first field trial, and outputs from social license studies conducted with the local community at the trial site.
Please direct any questions to me (


Posted on 02/17/2022

EOS would like to congratulate the winners of the first Aaron Kevin Rice '21 Applied Learning Award in Earth and Ocean Sciences: Phyllis Kho Yu Yi and Gina M. Carney.
Their winning submissions were entitled:
"Late Holocene hydroclimate reconstruction in Costa Rica: Compound-specific hydrogen and carbon isotope record from Laguna María Aguilar lake sediment" by Phyllis Kho Yu Yi
"Hydrological investigations of groundwater discharge using watershed morphometry and radon in tidal creek watersheds" by Gina M. Carney
EOS also sincerely thanks the family of Aaron K. Rice for making this award possible and supporting our up-and-coming geoscientists.

Posted on 02/11/2022

EOS Professor Phil Bresnahan recently secured a grant from NOAA entitled "pHyter: An Oceanographic Tool for Citizen Science and STEM Education." The lead organization, Sunburst Sensors, is commercializing a low-cost, easy-to-use, and high-quality pH sensor, specifically developed for citizen/community scientists and educators/students. The total award is $149,991. Via the subaward, UNCW personnel incuding Dr. Bresnahan and MS student Elizabeth Farquhar (pictured) are evaluating the instrument to provide an independent assessment of data quality and ease of use. They are also contributing to the development of a cloud database and web app. See news of the award at:



Posted on 02/10/2022

EOS Professor Scott Nooner and MS alum Audra Sawyer are coauthors of a new paper in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems entitled "Geodetic Monitoring at Axial Seamount Since Its 2015 Eruption Reveals a Waning Magma Supply and Tightly Linked Rates of Deformation and Seismicity." See the paper at:



Posted on 01/25/2022

EOS Professor Phil Bresnahan was recently featured on local WECT news discussing his Smartfin Project (, which involves the development of surfboard fins with sensors that will measure multiple ocean parameters. See the WECT interview and article at


Posted 01/24/2022

EOS professor Narcisa Pricope and MS Geoscience alum Kyle Woodward are coauthors of a new pub in the journal Remote Sensing entitled 'Using Very-High-Resolution Multispectral Classification to Estimate Savanna Fractional Vegetation Components'. This paper was produced from a collaborative grant from NSF. See the paper at



Posted 12/7/2021

EOS Professor Narcisa Pricope and MS Geoscience alum Christopher Hidalgo authored a new paper in Journal of Environmental Management entitled "Shifting landscapes of risk: Quantifying pluvial flood vulnerability beyond the regulated floodplain". In this work, the authors use Hurricane Florence as an example to show that communities outside of the regulated 100-year floodplain are disproportionately affected by flooding, especially the pluvial type. The authors suggest that flood insurance coverage should be extended to residences previously considered at low risk of flooding and authorities should plan for the future beyond the 100-year flood zones.

Posted 12/6/2021

EOS Faculty have continued their scholarly success with the publication of three new papers:

Dr. Joanne Halls is a co-author of a paper in the journal Natural Hazards Review entitled ‘High on the hill and down by the river: the relationship between wealth and flood risk in the United States, past and present’. This work was in collaboration with UNCW Public and International Affairs colleagues Dr. Kinzer and Dr. Weinkle. See the paper at

M.S. Geoscience graduate student Jesse Beckman, Dr. Andrea Hawkes, Dr. Lynn Leonard, and Dr. Eman Ghoneim are co-authors on a paper in the journal Water entitled ‘Investigating controls on barrier island overwash and evolution during extreme storms’. This work was in collaboration with Dr. Joe Long in the UNCW Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography. See the paper at

Dr. Peter Haproff is a co-author of a new paper in the journal Geological Society of America Bulletin entitled ‘Late Mesozoic–Cenozoic cooling history of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau and its foreland derived from low-temperature thermochronology'. See the paper at


Posted 12/2/2021

EOS Professor Phil Bresnahan is a co-author of a new paper in the journal Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science entitled ‘Validation of Landsat 8 high resolution sea surface temperatures using surfers’. In this work Dr Bresnahan and colleagues document the ability if his smartfin sensor invention to improve validation of satellite temperature estimates of SSTs and comparison of NASA/USGS vs. European algorithms. Check it out at: