Photo of Kiki Patsch
Associate Professor: Environmental Science and Resource Management

Contact Information


Ph.D Earth and Planetary Sciences with an emphasis on Coastal Geology and Hazards, University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), 2004
B.A. Environmental Science, University of Virginia, 2000


After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia in Environmental Science, Dr. Kiki Patsch earned a Ph.D in Earth and Planetary Sciences with a focus on coastal geology, processes, and hazards under the guidance of Dr. Gary Griggs at the University of California Santa Cruz. Patsch joined the CSUCI faculty in the fall of 2015. Through her work, Dr. Patsch aims to bridge the gap between policy makers, scientists, engineers, and private citizens on issues related to the coastal zone.

Dr. Patsch's past and current research focuses on coastal geomorphology and processes, shoreline hazard assessment, sediment budgets analysis, sea cliff and beach erosion, reductions in the natural supply of sediment to the coast, coastal armoring, coastal access equity, and coastal monitoring along the California coast. Dr. Patsch is co-author of the book, Living with the Changing California Coast, published by the University of California Press, Berkeley which covers the processes and hazards associated with California’s geologically dynamic and heavily populated shoreline. As part of this book, Patsch developed a GIS for the entire coastline of California, mapping and taking inventory of such information as shoreline hazard level, shoreline armoring, sea cliff erosion rates, and shoreline environment.

Dr. Kiki Patsch is currently developing regionally based, socially relevant research projects and programs with fellow faculty members as well as undergraduate students and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge of the dynamic coastal zone in the framework of environmental science and resource management. Our beaches and coastal environments are an important natural resource that needs to be studied and preserved. California’s beaches alone generate billions of dollars annually to California's economy, not to mention the US economy on a whole. With a dynamic sea level threatening to erode our beaches and sea cliffs, coastal zone planning and resource management will need our attention in the coming years.

Representative Courses Taught

  • ESRM 328 The Why of Where: Foundations in GIS
  • ESRM 210 Physical Oceanography and Lab
  • ESRM 335 The Beach
  • ESRM 371 Coastal Monitoring with Remotely Piloted systems
  • ESRM 377 Shaping the Coast
  • ESRM 428 Intermediate Applied Geographic Information Science (GIS)



Coastal geologic hazards, sea cliff and bluff erosion, coastal access, beach erosion, coastal processes, sea level rise, littoral processes, sediment budgets, nearshore sediment transport, coastal resilience

Additional Teaching and Research Information