Katherine A. Castagno
PhD candidate | MIT-WHOI Joint Program | Coastal Systems Group


I am a PhD candidate in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering working with Dr. Jeff Donnelly in the Coastal Systems Group. I study how hurricanes and other large storms have impacted coastal New England over the last 2,000 years.

As coastal population continues to grow in both size and wealth, hurricanes pose a growing threat to infrastructure, life, and environment. Sea-level rise has continued to threaten coastal communities at alarming rates, and evidence suggests that sea-level rise will exacerbate the effects of storm surge, increasing the potential for land loss. In New England, where both population and economic resources are concentrated largely on the coast, research into the impact of increased storm intensity and sea level rise is imperative to resilience of these coastal communities.



As a former environmental educator, I love opportunities to share science in fun and accessible ways. I am always happy to share demonstrations or lessons on various topics including climate, hurricanes, salt marshes, storm surge, coastal protection, sediment coring, paleotempestology, and Cape Cod natural history.

Woods Hole Science and Technology Education Partnership (WHSTEP) Family Science Night, Woods Hole, MA. Photo credit: WHSTEP.
Panelist for Wild Weather Weekend at the Boston Museum of Science, Boston, MA. Photo credit: E. Wallace.
Demonstrating storm surge for a third grade unit on extreme weather, East Falmouth, MA. Photo credit: EFES.
Leading a field lesson on overwash for Mashpee Wompanoag summer camp students, Falmouth, MA. Photo credit: S. Madsen.

The Coastal Systems Group and the Donnelly Lab also have been interviewed for NBC Learn's When Nature Strikes: Hurricanes and National Geographic's Years of Living Dangerously: Gathering Storm.



Feel free to contact me anytime to discuss research, outreach opportunities, haircuts, or musical gigs.

castagno (AT) mit.edu

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #22
Woods Hole, MA 02543