USGS - science for a changing world

Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

We conduct multidisciplinary scientific research in the coastal and offshore areas of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and other US Pacific Islands; and in other waterways of the United States.

Center News

Photograph showing the impact of a large wave at the south shore of Laysan Island, with endangered Laysan teal in the foreground. Bluff erosion during the 200910 El Nino undermined the Great Highway guardrail at the southern end of Ocean Beach. Photo by Jeff Hansen, USGS, 2010. Erosion of the coastal bluff on Barter Island, 2011. Photograph by Benjamin Jones, USGS Alaska Science Center. Aerial photograph of Kwajalein Atoll showing its low-lying islands and coral reefs. Underwater photograph of a wave breaking over a coral reef on May 5, 2014, on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Photographs of Jenny White on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in August 2010. Photograph of George brandishing a grappling hook in a boat in Cook Inlet, Alaska, 1978. Inset: George in 2008, photo by Laura Zink Torresan. Photograph of USGS research oceanographer Li Erikson, second from right, talking to Congressional staffers.

Many Atolls May be Uninhabitable Within Decades Due to Climate Change

A new study shows that the combined effect of storm-induced wave-driven flooding and sea level rise on island atolls may be more severe and happen sooner than previous estimates of inundation predicted by passive “bathtub” modeling for low-lying atoll islands.

El Niño and La Niña Will Exacerbate Coastal Hazards across Entire Pacific

The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storms leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean.

Northern Alaska Coastal Erosion Threatens Habitat and Infrastructure

In a new study published July 2015, USGS scientists found that the remote northern Alaska coast has some of the highest shoreline-erosion rates in the nation.

Climate Change Reduces Coral Reefs’ Ability to Protect Coasts

A new paper gives guidance to coastal managers to assess how climate change will affect a coral reef’s ability to mitigate coastal hazards.

USGS Underwater Coral Photo Selected as “Photo of the Day”

An underwater coral photograph taken by Curt Storlazzi in Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, was chosen by Popular Photography magazine as its Photo of the Day.

New Marine Facility Chief for the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Jenny White is the new Marine Operations Superintendent for the Marine Facility at the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California.

George Tate Retires from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

His plans for the future include “chasing waves and trout, sailing fast, and exploring the backcountry and backwaters of places revisited and those not yet traveled.”

Congressional Staffers Learn about Climate-Change Threats to Coastal Communities

Li Erikson explained how the USGS can help managers assess potential flooding threats to coastal communities and ecosystems caused by sea-level rise and climate-change-driven storms.

   See all of our Home Page Features.

Sound Waves Newsletter

Thumbnail image from news story.Cover Story:
Northern Alaska Coastal Erosion Threatens Habitat and Infrastructure


PCMSC Seminar Series

Please join us for scientific talks and presentations given by local scientists and researchers.

Weds., Oct. 14, 2015, 10:30am

David A. Helweg, Ph.D.

Director, USGS Pacific Islands Climate Science Center

Stakeholder-Driven Science Needs to Address Changing Climate in the Pacific Islands Region

Weds., Oct. 28, 2015, 2pm

Karen Thorne

USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Weds., Nov. 18, 2015, 2pm

Sean Vitousek

USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

See a list of all Seminars previously presented.

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Page Last Modified: 7 October 2015 (lzt)