UMass Boston

A grassy coastal embankment at the beach's edge.

The Science, Technology, and Policy of Coastal Mapping

ENVSCI 480 The Science, Technology, and Policy of Coastal Mapping 
Summer Session II July 18th to July 29th


During this two-week class you will participate in the mapping of the coast from the land, sea and air. You will collect data using: 1) a state-of-the-art sidescan sonar to map the seafloor from a 27-ft Research Vessel; 2) one of several Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, to map the land; 3) a survey-grade GPS to map beach profiles; and 4) a sediment sampler among eelgrass beds to conduct grain size analysis and identify macroinvertebrates that live there. We will put all of these data together to create seamless onshore/offshore maps. Each day will begin with a short class to go over the field (or lab) work for the day, answer any questions and then - into the field we go! Everyone will participate in all data collection activities and then each student will focus on one aspect for a final report.




Mark Borrelli is a coastal geologist. His research interests include coastal sedimentary processes in general and understanding how storms, sea level rise and anthropogenic impacts affect the coast in particular. Borrelli is the director of the Coastal Processes and Ecosystems Laboratory (CaPE Lab), a joint research effort between the School for the Environment within the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The CaPE Lab has research vessels and facilities at both locations.


Credits: 3


Schedule: this course will run during summer session II, starting Sunday July 18th through Friday August 25th.


Course Fee with housing: $2,445.00


Course Fee without housing: $2,055.00

* The fee for this course covers instruction and housing on Nantucket. It does not cover meals or transportation to and from Nantucket. 


The deadline to submit the application to apply to take the course is May 1st, 2023. 


To apply click here to fill out an application to take the course.


Scholarships available:


Click here to learn about and apply for Battle funds.


Click here to learn about and apply for Beacon Student Success Funds 


For more course information contact:


Course Instructor: Mark Borrelli    Email


Director of AASC, Elizabeth Boyle Email: