Jessica is CoE Masters Scholar of the Year for Research

M.S. student Jessica Gorski was recognized as the Masters Scholar of the Year for Research by the NCSU College of Engineering (CoE). Students were nominated by departments within the CoE, and Jessica was selected for this award to recognize outstanding scholarly achievement and dedication to the NC State community and beyond. The award includes a cash stipend.

Jessica’s research is centered on finding answers to this question: During a hurricane, where will the beaches and dunes ‘fail’ along our coast? These systems are heavily engineered – communities invest in and rely on beaches and dunes to protect homes and lives during storms. She has become a leader in research with computational models to advance understanding of storm-driven erosion and flooding of coastal regions.

This award was publicized by both the CoE and our department.

Congratulations to Jessica!

Jessica wins Charles Smallwood Graduate Award

M.S. student Jessica Gorski won the Charles Smallwood Graduate Award from our Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. This award is one of several awards given to recognize excellence by our graduate students. The award includes a cash stipend.

Congratulations to Jessica!

Jessica Gorski (right) celebrates her award, with Ranji Ranjithan.

Jessica assists with Field Research

MS student Jessica Gorski assisted fellow NOPP collaborators at University of Georgia with field work on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The team surveyed a large portion of the beach and deployed several sensors to measure wave runup. Jekyll Island experienced significant storm-driven erosion during the 2022 Hurricane Season and these elevation data points will be used to evaluate the erosional impact of two recent storms (Hurricanes Ian and Nicole).

Jessica Gorski surveying beach transects on Jekyll Island, Georgia.

Conference: YCSECA 2022

Emulator for Eroded Beach and Dune Profiles due to Storms

Dunes and beaches are vulnerable to erosion during storm events. Numerical models can predict beach response to storms with fidelity, but their computational costs, the domain-specific knowledge necessary to use them, and the wide range of potential future storm and beach conditions can hinder their use in forecasting storm erosion for short- and long-term horizons. We develop an emulator, which is an efficient predictive model that behaves like a numerical model, to predict the morphologic response of the subaerial beach to storms. Specific emphasis is placed on providing antecedent beach states as an input to the emulator and predicting the post-storm profile shape. Training data include beach profiles at multiple stages in a nourishment life cycle to assess if such a framework can be applied in locations that nourish as a coastal defense policy. Development and application of the emulator is focused on Nags Head, North Carolina, which nourishes its beaches to mitigate hazards of storm waves, flooding, and erosion. A high-fidelity, process-based morphodynamic model is used to train the emulator with 1250 scenarios of sea-storms and beach profiles. The post-storm beach state is emulated with a parameterized power-law function fit to the eroded portion of the subaerial profile. When the emulator was tested for a sequence of real storms from 2019, the eroded beach profiles were predicted with a skill score of 0.66. This emulator is promising for future efforts to predict storm-induced beach erosion in hazard warnings or adaptation studies.

A Gharagozlou, DL Anderson, JF Gorski, JC Dietrich (2022). “Emulator for Eroded Beach and Dune Profiles due to Storms.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 127(8), e2022JF006620, DOI: 10.1029/2022JF006620.