Program Graduates

The following students have graduated after working with the Sciaudone Team.  We look forward to hearing about their future accomplishments!

M.S. Graduate December 2021: Adam Behr

Mr. Behr’s research focused on ways to predict vulnerability along barrier island highways. He has analyzed various morphological indicators of highway vulnerability (distance to shoreline, presence and characteristics of the dune between the highway and shoreline, etc.) to identify which are the most skilled.  He has also used optimization techniques to develop functions of indicators that combined improve the skill of predicting vulnerability to storm impacts.

M.S. Thesis: “Effectiveness of Indicators of Barrier Island Highway Vulnerability

Mr. Behr is currently working at Hazen.


M.S. Graduate August 2020: Russell Nasrallah

Mr. Nasrallah’s research focused on the use of numerical models to predict roadway impacts from storm events. He investigated real-time forecasting systems using predicted wave heights and water levels from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in conjuntion with a series of 1-D XBeach models run on a high-performance computing cluster.

M.S. Thesis: “Forecasting Storm Impacts on a Coastal Highway Using Remote Sensing and Numerical Modeling

Mr. Nasrallah is currently working at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District.


Former Undergraduate Researchers


Undergraduate Researcher: Kelly Fawcett

Ms. Fawcett’s undergraduate research focused on studying marsh plants and their influence on shoreline stability. She has created an identification guide for plants found on the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR), and conducted a literature review to determine which plants are able to increase soil resistance to erosion. Ms. Fawcett has also developed GIS databases of physical and biological monitoring data collected along the PINWR. She is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in Marine Science at NC State.


 Undergraduate Researcher: Hailee Sicknick

Ms. Sicknick developed a comprehensive database of field data collected during a 3-year campaign. The data include RTK-GPS surveys, water level gauge data, stationary and boat-mounted current measurements, bathymetry surveys, and meterological information. She also assisted with GIS tasks associated with evaluating coastal highway vulnerability. Ms. Sicknick is currently finishing her coursework in Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State.



Vega Sproul – 2021-2022 “Visualizing Dune Volume Change Across the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge” (PDF poster ~ 2mb)

Mr. Sproul assisted with field surveys of the marsh shoreline at the PINWR as well as studying coastal dune evolution along the PINWR beaches. He developed a tool to visualize dune evolution based on photogrammetrically-derived digital terrain models. The data span the years 2011 to 2021, including winter, spring, summer, and fall terrain models.

Mr. Sproul will be pursuing a master’s degree in the European CoastHazar program beginning Fall 2022.


Whit McCuiston  – 2020 “Expedited Shoreline Extraction From Open-source Software, CoastSat”, presented at NC State Undergraduate Research Symposium, April 2020. Currently working at McAdams.


Michael Dunn  – 2019-2020 “Estuarine shoreline erosion driven by flood channel proximity at Pea Island, NC” (PDF poster ~ 1mb), won Student Poster Award at the 2019 American Shore & Beach Preservation Association National Coastal Conference. Completed MS degree at Texas A&M and working for Nortek.


Jessica Gorski  – Summer 2019  Women & Minority Engineering Program Research Experience for Undergraduates “Evaluation of Highway Vulnerability to Overwash” (PDF Poster ~ 2mb). Currently in graduate school at North Carolina State University with the Coastal and Computational Hydraulics Team: Jessica Gorski’s page.