Students setting up beach survey equipment
Students use modern engineering and survey equipment to determine beach profile


Overall Rating

Add your review


Assateague Island National Seashore is a barrier island that formed about 7,000 years ago along what is now the Atlantic coast of Maryland and Virginia. The island is constantly shaped and reshaped by dynamic coastal processes, including storm-driven overwash, dune formation, and sediment transport driven by waves and wind. These geologic processes, in combination with the island's underlying substratum, control a suite of delicate habitats.

Program objectives:
1) Teach students to profile beach transects using professional equipment.
2) collect usable data for NPS beach movement records.
3) compile data on-line to show temporal changes to the island.
4) analyze pros and cons of various engineering alternatives used to counter beach erosion and sea level rise.

Students will be able to:

·     describe the process of surveying a beach and constructing a beach profile.
·     construct a beach profile and identify the parts of the beach (post-trip activity).
·     describe the cause and evidence of tides.
·     cite evidence of shore currents and sediment transport.
·     describe the mechanisms of sediment transport and will cite evidence of where these mechanisms occur on the beach.
     identify coastal sedimentary features and describe their formation.
·     describe human interference with natural coastal processes.
·     describe coastal ecosystems.
·     describe the geology, ecology, and physical oceanography of MD's seashore.


Jay Johnstone


Climate, Ecological Engineering, Ecology, Economics, Engineering, Government, Marine Biology, Mathematics, Oceanography, Oceans, Physical Science, Planning/Development, Regional Studies, Science and Technology
National/State Standards:
National Science Education Standards
Life Science: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Earth and space science: Earth and Human Activity
Field Trips