Sean Vitousek

  • Program Years: 2009-2013
  • Academic Institution: Stanford University
  • Field of Study: Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology
  • Academic Advisor: Oliver Fringer
  • Practicum(s):
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2011)
  • Degree(s):
    Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2014
    M.Sc. Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawaii, 2008
    B.S.E. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2005

Current Status

  • Status: Research Oceanographer - USGS
  • Research Area: Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Ocean Modeling, Coastal Hazards, Sea-level Rise
  • Personal URL:


Rueda, A., Camus., P., Tomas, A., Vitousek, S., & Mendez, F. J. (2016). A multivariate extreme wave and storm surge climate emulator based on weather patterns, Ocean Modelling, 104, 242-25.

Antolinez, J. A. A., Mendez, F. J., Camus, P., Vitousek, S., Gonzalez, E. M., Ruggiero, P., & Barnard, P. (2016). A multi-scale climate emulator for long-term morphodynamics (MUSCLE-morpho). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121(1), 775-791.

Vitousek, S. and Barnard, P.L. (2015). A nonlinear, implicit one-line model to predict long-term shoreline change. In: P. Wang, J.D. Rosati and J. Cheng (Eds.), The Proceedings of the Coastal Sediments 2015, World Scientific, Singapore.

Barnard, P. L., Short, A. D., Harley, M. D., Splinter, K. D., Vitousek, S., Turner, I. L., Allan, J., Banno, M., Bryan, K. R., Doria, A., Hansen, J. E., Kato, S., Kuriyama, Y., Randall-Goodwin, E., Ruggiero, P., Walker, I. J., & Heathfield, J.K. (2015). Coastal vulnerability across the Pacific dominated by El Nino/Southern Oscillation. Nature Geoscience, 8(10), 801-807.

Vitousek, S., & Fringer, O. B. (2014). A nonhydrostatic, isopycnal-coordinate ocean model for internal waves. Ocean Modelling, 83, 118-144.

Vitousek, S., & Fringer, O. B. (2013). Stability and consistency of nonhydrostatic free-surface models using the semi-implicit theta-method. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 72(5), 550-582.

Vitousek, S. (2013). Towards internal wave resolving simulations of the ocean (Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University).

Vitousek, S., & Fringer, O. B. (2011). Physical vs. numerical dispersion in nonhydrostatic ocean modeling. Ocean Modelling, 40(1), 72-86.

Romine, B. M., Fletcher, C. H., Genz, A. S., Barbee, M. M., Dyer, M., Anderson, T. R., Lim, S. C., Vitousek, S., Bochicchio, C., & Richmond, B. M. (2012). National assessment of shoreline change: A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the sandy shorelines of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui, Hawaii. US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey.

Fletcher, C.H., Romine, B.M., Genz, A.S., Barbee, M.M., Dyer, M., Anderson, T.R., Lim, S.C., Vitousek, S., Bochicchio, C. & Richmond, B.M. (2012). National assessment of shoreline change: Historical shoreline change in the Hawaiian Islands. US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey.

Vitousek, S., Barbee, M. M., Fletcher, C. H., Richmond, B. M., & Genz, A. S. (2009). Puukohala-Heiau National Historic Site and Kaloko-Honokohau Historical Park, Big Island of Hawaii. Coastal Hazard Analysis Report. NPS Geologic Resources Division, Honolulu, HI.

Caldwell, P. C., Vitousek, S., & Aucan, J. P. (2009). Frequency and duration of coinciding high surf and tides along the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, 1981-2007. Journal of Coastal Research, 25(3), 734-743.

Vitousek, S., & Fletcher, C. H. (2008). Maximum annually recurring wave heights in Hawai'i. Pacific Science, 62(4), 541-553.

Vitousek, S., Fletcher, C. H., & Barbee, M. M. (2008). A practical approach to mapping extreme wave inundation: Consequences of sea-level rise and coastal erosion. In Proceedings of the Solutions to Coastal Disasters Congress (pp. 13-16).

Fletcher, C. H., Bochicchio, C., Conger, C. L., Engels, M. S., Feirstein, E. J., Frazer, N., Glenn, C. R., Grigg, R. W., Grossman, E. E., Harney, J. N., Isoun, E., Murray-Wallace, C. V., Rooney, J. R., Rubin, K. H., Sherman, C. E., & Vitousek, S. (2008). Geology of Hawaii reefs. In Coral Reefs of the USA (pp. 435-487). Springer Netherlands.

Vitousek, S., Fletcher, C. H., Merrifield, M. A., Pawlak, G., & Storlazzi, C. D. (2007). Model scenarios of shoreline change at Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii: seasonal and extreme events. In Coastal Sediments '07: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Coastal Engineering and Science of Coastal Sediment Process. New Orleans, ASCE (pp. 1227-1240).

Vitousek, S. (2007). Nearshore hydrodynamics at Kaanapali, Maui & Hawaii extreme wave statistics (Master's Thesis, University of Hawaii).


U.S. Geological Survey Mendenahll Postdoctoral Fellowship
Graduated with Honors, Princeton University, 2005.
Achievement Award of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Concrete Institute, 2005.
Sigma Xi Book Award: For Outstanding Senior Thesis, 2005.