John Rapaglia, Ph.D.

John P. Rapaglia, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Area of Specialization:  Marine Science/Coastal Oceanography

Professional Interests: Coastal hydrology; surface water-ground water interactions; coastal risks associated with sea level rise; and wave, tides, currents and sediment interactions, including pressure waves from large marine vessels.

Degrees and Certifications

    • Post-doctoral researcher 2008-2011: Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany: “Future Ocean Excellence Cluster
    • Post-doctoral researcher 2007-2008: National Research Council of Italy’s Marine Science Institute
    • PhD 2007: Marine and Atmospheric Science, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University
    • M.S. 2004: Marine Environmental Science, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University
    • B.S. 2001: Geography and Environmental Science, University of Mary Washington

Teaching Responsibilities

    • BIO 204: Populations to Ecosystems
    • BIO 390: Supervised Research
    • ESM 502: Principles of Environmental Management
    • ESM 503: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Environmental Sciences
    • ESM 504: Environmental Hydrology
    • ESM 506: Environmental Sampling and Analysis
    • ESM 511: Soils and Land Management
    • ESM 599: Supervised Research

    >> Meet our students and learn more about their current research projects: Lab Group: Coastal Hydrology and Climate Change

Research Interests & Grants

    Dr. Rapaglia works on several different lines of research.  The first line of research involves studies of Submarine Groundwater Discharge.  Groundwater flows directly into the sea anywhere an aquifer with a positive hydraulic head is hydraulically connected to a surface water body.  Groundwater is inherently enriched in many contaminants and, therefore, it is often a major pathway for these contaminants to enter the ocean.  However, as it is inherently difficult to measure, the input of contaminants into coastal zones through groundwater is often disregarded as an important source.  Dr. Rapaglia's research focuses on quantifying this flow of groundwater and associated contaminants into the coastal zones, including the better understanding of geochemical processes occurring in the coastal zone.  His lab utilizes various techniques including manual seepage meters, radionuclides, and geographic information systems (GIS) to accomplish our research goals on a local, regional, and global scale. 

    A second line of research involves sedimentary changes due to vessel navigation in ports and harbors.  Large vessels generate waves of sufficient energy to disturb sediments both within and near shipping channels.  When disturbed, contaminants maybe re-mobilized from these sediments and released back into the water column.  Dr. Rapaglia's lab uses pressure sensors to better understand the types of waves generated by these vessels and their impact on the environment.  He seeks to understand how re-mobilized contaminants can effect shellfish species.  Dr. Rapaglia has other projects including studying salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers and researching salt marshes, sea level rise, and storm parameters.

    >> Collaboration with Irish Aquarium Establishes SHU as a Member of the International Coastal Research Community

Publications and Presentations

    View All Publications

    Rapaglia J., Koukoulas, S., Vafeidis, A., and Lichter, M. 2011. The application of geostatistics in defining the characteristic distance for 224Ra sampling. Journal of Marine Systems. 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2011.09.003

    Eisenach, A., Rapaglia, J., Scholten, J., and Vafeidis, A. 2012. Using a GIS as an extra tool in Ra and Rn research. 4th International Ra-Rn workshop, June 4-8th 2012. Narragansett, RI

    Rapaglia J., Koukulas S., Vafeidis A. and Zaggia L. 2010. A spatial sampling design framework for efficient assessment of SGD through a Ra mass balance in a coastal lagoon. 2010 Venice Ra-Rn Conference, March 12-20 2010. Jerusalem, Israel.

    Rapaglia J., Vafeidis A., Sarreti A., Molinaroli E., Ferrarin C., and Zaggia L. 2009. Spatial analysis of sedimentary controls on submarine groundwater discharge. European Geophysical Union (EGU). April 19-23, 2009. Vienna, Austria.

    Ballarini E., Rapaglia J., Vafeidis A., Neumann B., Zaggia L., Stocker M., and Neary C. 2013 State of the Lagoon Report for Lesina, Foggia, Italy. Presented to the EU FP7 Programme 128 pp.

    Rapaglia, J.,  Zaggia, L., Ricklefs, K., and Gelinas, M. 2011. Characteristics of ships' depression waves and associated sediment resuspension in the Venice Lagoon. Journal of Marine Systems. 85:45-56.

    Gelinas, M., Bokuniewicz, H., Rapaglia, J., and Lwiza, K. 2012.Sediment resuspension by ship wakes in the Venice Lagoon. Journal of Coastal Research. Accepted. 

    Rapaglia J., Zaggia, L., Bokuniewicz, H., Gelinas, M., and Vafeidis, A. 2012.The impact of shipping vessels’ pressure wakes of contaminant redistribution in coastal zones. Eco Summit. Columbus, Ohio September 30th-October 5th, 2012.

    Carretero, S., Rapaglia, J., Bokuniewicz, H., and Kruse, E. Impact of sea level rise on salt water intrusion length into the Partido de la Costa aquifer, Argentina. Regional Climate Change. Submitted.

    Rapaglia J., Bokuniewicz, H., Vafeidis, A., and Pick, T. 2011. The impact of sea level rise on salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers. Goldschmidt Conference. August 15-19, 2011. Prague.

    Schuerch, M. Rapaglia, J., Liebetrau, V., Vafeidis, A., and Reise, K. 2012. Salt marsh accretion and storm tide variation: An example from a barrier island in the North Sea. Estuaries and Coasts. Accepted.

Contact Information

Office Location & Hours

  • Location:
    Biology
    Academic Bldg SC205D
    College of Arts and Sciences
  • View Campus Map