Sarah F. Griffee, M.A.


Areas of Expertise

  • Coastal GIS Analyses
  • Regional Geomorphic Change in Wetland Environments
  • Spatial and 3D Analyses



2005  M.A., GIS and Environmental Remote Sensing, Boston University
2000  B.S., Geology, University of Vermont

Project Experience

Shoreline Compilation and Change Assessment for Open-Coast Shorelines of South Louisiana

  • As part of the Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring (BICM) Program, historical shoreline positions between the 1850s and 2012 were compiled for quantifying shoreline change. Ms. Griffee employed GIS techniques for evaluating existing data and creating new datasets, including georeferencing and digitizing historical USC&GS T-sheets, interpreting and digitizing shorelines from orthoimagery, and utilizing shoreline change analysis software to quantify changes between different time periods. These data are being used to aid in the planning, design, evaluation, and maintenance of current and future barrier island/coastal restoration projects.

Design and Permitting of Dead Neck/Sampson’s Island (DNSI) Restoration and Management Project

  • Ms. Griffee compiled shoreline, bathymetry, and LiDAR data using ArcGIS to evaluate the potential impact of backpassing dredge material from the navigation at the western end to the eastern end of Sampson's Island. Ms Griffee determined shoreline change rates, changes in the inlet position, and rates of inlet migration.  3-D Analyst was used to evaluate lidar data to evaluate sediment volume changes.

 Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, Coastal Hazards Atlas for the South Coast of Massachusetts

  • Ms. Griffee completed the GIS analysis used to develop the South Coast Coastal Hazards Atlas. The South Coast atlas strives to bridge the gap between sound science and policy, delivering a wealth of relevant coastal data in an easily understandable format. Shoreline change, evaluation of littoral cells, wave climate and dominant coastal processes for each cell were determined. Additional risk factors were also defined and evaluated, including storm surge elevations, changing sea level and an index for assessing the stability of coastal bluffs in the region.

Sediment Transport Pathways, Inlet and Island Migration, and Detailed Sediment Budgets for the Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program

  • Historical shoreline and bathymetry surveys of Mississippi Sound and offshore environs were captured and analyzed using spatial analysis software under ArcGIS to documented the evolution of beach, nearshore, and channel environments most directly influenced by hurricanes and other storms. Net sediment transport pathways and magnitudes were determined based on change patterns to quantify regional sediment dynamics and evaluate historical sediment budgets for use in planning and design of restoration efforts for the Mississippi Sound barrier islands.

 Design and permitting of beach nourishment and groin system to provide shore protection along Winthrop Shore Drive, Winthrop, MA 

  • Ms. Griffee compiled historical and recent shorelines (includes registering and digitizing historical maps, digitizing/delineating high water line from orthophotography and shoreline change calculations in ASAP), and elevation (lidar and bathymetry) and CAD data; volume calculations related to excavation scenarios (of the tombolo to redistribute sand/nourish/regrade the beach), also maintained GIS database of bird habitats.

 Town of Chatham, Massachusetts, Chatham South Shore

  • A comprehensive study of the entire southern coast of the Town of Chatham on Nantucket Sound was performed in order to quantify erosion rates and develop possible management solutions to help maintain public beach recreational resources.  Ms. Griffee determined shoreline change for the different management zones, predicted future shoreline conditions, and identified potential borrow sites (using aerial photography) for permitted sand placement locations.

 Coastal and Salt Marsh Processes Study and Evaluation of Engineering Alternatives for the Woodneck Beach Barrier Complex, Falmouth, MA

  • An in-depth study of the coastal processes governing the stability of the Woodneck beach system, as well as the salt marsh system backing the barrier was conducted. Ms Griffee calculated shoreline change analysis including changes in the inlet position and rate of inlet migration. 3-D Analyst in ArcGIS was used to evaluate lidar data and extract the beach profiles.

 Evaluation of Channel Dredging on Shoreline Response at and Adjacent to Mobile Pass, Alabama 

  • Ms. Griffee compiled shoreline and bathymetry data using ArcGIS to evaluate the potential impact of channel dredging across the Mobile Pass Outer Bar Channel on erosion processes along Dauphin Island, and on the ebb-tidal delta west of the navigation channel. Major changes in island configuration west of Pelican Island and shoal development on the ebb-tidal delta were always associated with hurricanes or tropical storms. Bathymetric changes indicated consistent deposition for the entire ebb-tidal delta prior to and after channel dredging, except for two periods where the end dates were close to major storms.

Selected Publications

Byrnes, M.R., J.L. Berlinghoff, S.F. Griffee, A.R. Fallon, and D.M. Lee, 2018. Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring Program (BICM): Phase 2 – Updated Shoreline Compilation and Change Assessment, 1880s to 2015. Prepared for Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) by Applied Coastal Research and Engineering, Baton Rouge, LA and Mashpee, MA, 46 p. plus appendices.

Byrnes, M.R.; Rosati, J.D.; Griffee, S.F., and Berlinghoff, J.L., 2013. Historical Sediment Transport Pathways and Quantities for Determining an Operational Sediment Budget: Mississippi Sound Barrier Islands. In: Brock, J.C., Williams, S.J., and Barras, J. (eds.), Understanding and Predicting change in Coastal Ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 63. West Palm Beach (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208, pp. 166-183.

Byrnes, M.R.; Berlinghoff, J.L., and Griffee, S.F., 2013. Sediment Dynamics in Mobile Bay, Alabama: Development of an Operational Sediment Budget. Mobile, Alabama: Technical Report to the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, 134 p.

Byrnes, M.R.; Rosati, J.D.; Griffee, S.F., and Berlinghoff, J.L., 2012. Littoral Sediment Budget for the Mississippi Sound Barrier Islands. Vicksburg, Mississippi: U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center, Technical Report ERDC/CHL TR-12-9, 171p.