The world’s diverse coastal landscapes are highly dynamic, constantly changing as a result of both marine and terrestrial processes. As the home to most of the world’s population, and a focus for tourism and recreation, the coast is also a major site for human-environment interactions. This makes it an important area for geographical research. Areas of specific interest include:

  • The study of coastal processes focusing on the interactions between the hydrodynamic processes (waves, winds, tides and currents) that erode or deposit coastal materials, and the landforms that these processes produce.
  • The impacts of past sea-level changes as a guide to future impacts.
  • The rate of sea-level rise and associated changes to the coastal environment.
  • The vulnerability of estuaries and their adjacent floodplains to inundation and erosion resulting from climate change.
  • The socio-economic vulnerability of coastal communities to climate change.
  • Coastal planning and management policies.


Coastal erosion, Northern Beaches, Sydney (Source: The Guardian)

Relevant careers include climate change assessment and planning; coastal, marine and hydrographic analysis; environmental and social impact assessment; environmental monitoring and management; environmental science; geographic information systems (GIS); geomorphology; hazard assessment; mitigation and disaster management; mapping and cartography; public policy; real estate and land development, remote sensing, research; sustainability; and tourism management.