Katy Serafin is a post-doctoral research scholar in the Department of Geophysics. She received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences from Oregon State University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College. Prior to graduate school, she worked at the U.S. Geological Survey’s St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center to evaluate storm-induced coastal change hazards. Her research focuses on understanding the frequency, drivers, and impacts of flooding events in the San Francisco Bay in order to assess the risk and resilience of coastal communities to present day and future hazards. Her research interests include compounding flood hazards, flood protection strategies in a changing climate, the impact of nuisance flooding events, and quantification of the indirect consequences of flooding, such as traffic disruption.

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (2016)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Oregon State University (2017)
  • Master of Science, Oregon State University (2013)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Connecticut College (2008)

All Publications

  • The influence of shelf bathymetry and beach topography on extreme total water levels: Linking large-scale changes of the wave climate to local coastal hazards COASTAL ENGINEERING Serafin, K. A., Ruggiero, P., Barnard, P. L., Stockdon, H. F. 2019; 150: 1–17
  • Emulation as an approach for rapid estuarine modeling COASTAL ENGINEERING Parker, K., Ruggiero, P., Serafin, K. A., Hill, D. F. 2019; 150: 79–93
  • Environmental and morphologic controls on wave-induced dune response GEOMORPHOLOGY Cohn, N., Ruggiero, P., Garcia-Medina, G., Anderson, D., Serafin, K. A., Biel, R. 2019; 329: 108–28
  • Exploring the impacts of climate and policy changes on coastal community resilience: Simulating alternative future scenarios ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE Mills, A. K., Bolte, J. P., Ruggiero, P., Serafin, K. A., Lipiec, E., Corcoran, P., Stevenson, J., Zanocco, C., Lach, D. 2018; 109: 80–92
  • Identification of storm events and contiguous coastal sections for deterministic modeling of extreme coastal flood events in response to climate change COASTAL ENGINEERING Erikson, L. H., Espejo, A., Barnard, P. L., Serafin, K. A., Hegermiller, C. A., O'Neill, A., Ruggiero, P., Limber, P. W., Mendez, F. J. 2018; 140: 316–30
  • Mapping Out Climate Change: Assessing How Coastal Communities Adapt Using Alternative Future Scenarios JOURNAL OF COASTAL RESEARCH Lipiec, E., Ruggiero, P., Mills, A., Serafin, K. A., Bolte, J., Corcoran, P., Stevenson, J., Zanocco, C., Lach, D. 2018; 34 (5): 1196–1208
  • The relative contribution of waves, tides, and nontidal residuals to extreme total water levels on US West Coast sandy beaches GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Serafin, K. A., Ruggiero, P., Stockdon, H. F. 2017; 44 (4): 1839-1847
  • Extreme oceanographic forcing and coastal response due to the 2015-2016 El Nino NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Barnard, P. L., Hoover, D., Hubbard, D. M., Snyder, A., Ludka, B. C., Allan, J., Kaminsky, G. M., Ruggiero, P., Gallien, T. W., Gabel, L., McCandless, D., Weiner, H. M., Cohn, N., Anderson, D. L., Serafin, K. A. 2017; 8


    The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is the dominant mode of interannual climate variability across the Pacific Ocean basin, with influence on the global climate. The two end members of the cycle, El Niño and La Niña, force anomalous oceanographic conditions and coastal response along the Pacific margin, exposing many heavily populated regions to increased coastal flooding and erosion hazards. However, a quantitative record of coastal impacts is spatially limited and temporally restricted to only the most recent events. Here we report on the oceanographic forcing and coastal response of the 2015-2016 El Niño, one of the strongest of the last 145 years. We show that winter wave energy equalled or exceeded measured historical maxima across the US West Coast, corresponding to anomalously large beach erosion across the region. Shorelines in many areas retreated beyond previously measured landward extremes, particularly along the sediment-starved California coast.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms14365

    View details for Web of Science ID 000393857700001

    View details for PubMedID 28195580

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5316878

  • Simulating extreme total water levels using a time-dependent, extreme value approach JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-OCEANS Serafin, K. A., Ruggiero, P. 2014; 119 (9): 6305-6329
  • US Hurricanes and Economic Damage: Extreme Value Perspective NATURAL HAZARDS REVIEW Chavas, D., Yonekura, E., Karamperidou, C., Cavanaugh, N., Serafin, K. 2013; 14 (4): 237-246