Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Baruch Institute

Faculty & Staff Directory

Katherine A. Renken Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Fellow
Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences
University of South Carolina

Phone: (803) 777-9051
Office: Sum 209e
Mailing Address:

Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC  29208  USA

Katherine A. Renken


Ph.D. Geography, Louisiana State University, August 2015.  Title: Investigation into ecogeomorphodynamics of coastal embryo dunes at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

M.A. Geography, East Carolina University, August 2008. Title: Volumetric changes in the morphologic zones adjacent to microtidal inlets, Outer Banks, North Carolina

B.S. Environmental Geology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, August 2006, Senior thesis title: Timing of emplacement of the Inconsolable Quartz Monzodiorite from U-Pb dates from zircons, Dusy Basin, Kings Canyon National Park, California

Research Interests

Plants and geomorphic processes are strongly coupled in aquatic and terrestrial systems. Geomorphic processes drive community dynamics at the same time that plants alter and control fluid dynamics and sediment transport processes. Katherine’s area of expertise focuses on the relationship between vegetation and geomorphology, recently dubbed the field of “ecogeomorphology,” in coastal environments at a range of spatial scales. One avenue of her current research is addressing the parameterization of the relationship between vegetation morphology and fluid flow in order to model sediment transport in vegetated dune systems. In addition, she is knowledgeable of the landscape-scale dynamics involved in beach-dune interactions on Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Atlantic coasts. In partnership with the National Park Service, her postdoctoral research focuses on deterministic modeling of geomorphic and ecological response of saltmarsh ecosystems to sea level rise at the landscape-scale.

Professional Experience

2015-present Postdoctoral Fellow, Belle. W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, University of South Carolina

2013-2015   GIS Technician, Louisiana Sea Grant, Louisiana State University

2012-2015   Adjunct Faculty in Geography, Baton Rouge Community College

2011-2013   GIS Technician, Louisiana Geological Survey, Louisiana State University


Hesp, P., Schmutz, P., Martinez, M.L., Driskell, L., Orgera, R., Renken, K., Revelo, N.A.R., Orocio, O.A.J., 2010. The effect on coastal vegetation of trampling on a parabolic dune. Aeolian Research 2(2-3): 105-111.