Timothy M. Dellapenna

Associate Professor
Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science

"May you always have sand in your shoes and shells in your pockets."
+1 (409) 740.4952dellapet@tamug.edu

Learn more about Timothy M. Dellapenna

Get To Know Timothy M. Dellapenna

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

I grew up on and around the water and lived for several years on the Chesapeake Bay. After a career change in my late 20's, I found an opportunity to move back to the Chesapeake Bay and study marine science. I was a little late to the game, but found my true calling.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

A genuine passion for studying natural coastal and marine systems. An appreciation for the natural systems and the interplay and feedbacks of the varying processes. The impact (both good and bad) that anthropogenic interventions can have to natural systems.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

I am most passionate about my family, traveling, seeing the world and exploring new cultures, food and cooking, and being near the water.
Ph.D. Marine Science/Coastal Marine Geology, Virginia Institute of Marine Science/College of William and Mary, 1999
M.S. Hydrogeology, Western Michigan University, 1993
M.S. Geology/Petroleum Geology, Western Michigan University, 1991
B.S. Geology, Michigan State University, 1986
Courses Taught

MARS 306: Coastal Sedimentary Geology

MARS 330:  Coastal Processes

MARS 370: Petroleum Geology

MARS 406/461: Marine Sciences Capstone in Undergraduate Research (MARS-CURE)

MARS 412/689: Field Investigations in Marine Science: Studies Abroad in Belize


Al Mukiami, M., Dellapenna, T. M., and Williams, J., in press. Impacts of enhanced land subsidence on Galveston Bay, Texas: interactions between sediment accumulation rates and relative sea level rise. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science.

Al Mukiami, M. E., Kaiser, K., Williams, J. R., Dellapenna, T. M., Louchourn, P., Santschi, P. H., in press. Centennial record of anthropogenic impacts in Galveston Bay: Evidence from trace metals and biomarkers. Environmental Pollution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.01.027

Kuehl, S. A., Miller, EJ.., Marshall, N. R., and Dellapenna, T.M. (in press) Recent paleoseismicity record in Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA. Geo-Marine Letters, 9, doi:10.1007/s00367-017-0505-7.

Williams, J., Dellapenna, T.M., Lee, G-H., and Louchouarn, P., 2015. Historical reconstruction of anthropogenic mercury input from sedimentary records: Yeongsan Estuary, South Korea. Marine Geology. 167: 436-446. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2015.10.021

Carlin, J.A. and Dellapenna, T.M., 2015. The evolution of a subaqueous delta in the Anthropocene: a stratigraphic investigation of the Brazos River Delta, TX, USA. Continental Shelf Research, 111: 139-149. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2015.08.008.

Carlin, J.A., Dellapenna, T.M., Strom, K., and Noll IV, C.J. (2015) The influence of a salt wedge intrusion on fluvial suspended sediment and the implications for sediment transport to the adjacent coastal ocean: a study of the lower Brazos River, TX, USA. Marine Geology, 359, 134-147, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2014.11.001.

Dellapenna, T.M., Fielder, B.R., Noll, C.J., and Savaresse, M. (2015) Geological responses to urbanization of the Naples Bay Estuarine System, Southwestern Florida, USA. Estuaries and Coasts, 38, 81-96, doi:10.1007/s12237-013-9704-2.

Williams, J., Dellapenna, T.M., Lee, G-H., and Louchouarn, P. (2014) Sedimentary impacts of anthropogenic alterations on the Yeongsan estuary, South Korea. Marine Geology, 357, 256-271, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2014.08.004.

Carlin, J.A. and Dellapenna, T.M. (2014) Event driven deltaic sedimentation on a low gradient, low energy shelf: the Brazos River subaqueous delta, northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Geology, 353, 21-30, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2014.03.017.

Williams, J.R., Dellapenna, T.M., and Lee, G-H. (2013) Shifts in depositional environments as a natural response to anthropogenic alterations: Nakdong Estuary, South Korea. Marine Geology, 343, 47-61, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2013.05.010.


2017: Dellapenna, T. M., J. Carlin, J., *Williams, J., *Breedlove, L., and Harb, M. Shoreface ravinement of backbarrier bay deposits of Follets Island, a transgressive barrier island along the Northern Gulf of Mexico, cannot source sand needed for island growth. AAPG Annual Conference, Houston, TX.

2016: Dellapenna, T. M., Williams, J., Lee, G-H., *Rogers, J. Habitat alterations and geomorphic response to estuarine dams and land-reclamation on the Korean Peninsula. European Geological Union, Vienna, Austria.

2015: Dellapenna, T. M., *Williams. Incorporating field-based research and experiential learning into a marine science/marine biology curriculum at a small coastal campus: Texas A&M University-Galveston Campus. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) 2015, Portland, OR.

2015: Dellapenna, T. M., *Williams, J., Lee. Sedimentary Impacts of Anthropogenic Alterations on the Yeongsan Estuary, South Korea. 8th International Conference on Asian Marine Geology (ICAMG-8), JeJu, South Korea.

2014: Dellapenna, T.M., *Noll, C.J., IV, Simons, J., *Bronikowski, J., *Patch, M., and Sager, W. Natural responses to anthropogenic alterations of the Matagorda Bay system, northern Gulf of Mexico. Geological Society of America, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

2014: Dellapenna, T.M., Moya, J., *Carlin, J. *Williams, J., and Weber, C. Annual beach monitoring for Galveston Island: merging land-based LIDAR with ultra-high resolution swath bathymetry to provide seamless beach and shoreface surfaces. American Beaches and Shores Preservation Society Annual Meeting, Virginia Beach, VA.

2011: Dellapenna, T.M., *Carlin, J., +Baker, A. Hurricane impact and storm surge ebb deposition in East Galveston Bay due to Hurricane Ike (September 13, 2008). South Central Geological Society of America Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

2011: Dellapenna, T.M., Garrison, J., *Cardenas, A., Flocks, J., Moya, J. Geophysical and Geological investigation of the Incised Sabine-Trinity River valley System and Sabine and Heald Bank. BOEMRE Technology Transfer Conference, New Orleans, LA.

2009: Dellapenna, T.M., *Noll IV, C.J., *Fielder, B.R., *Webster, R. Hyperpycnal flow within low gradient river deltas and implications for both sand and mud transport onto the shelf: Brazos River. International Association of Sedimentologists, Alghero, Sardinia, Italy.

Grants and Fellowships

March 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019: National Science Foundation; Wang, Z. A. (PI; WHOI), Churchill, J. (WHOI), Dellapenna, T. M. (co-PI), NSF RAPID: Tracking the flood pulse of a record discharge of the Brazos River in the Gulf of Mexico, $60,000 ($45,000).

2017 - 2018: US Army Corps of Engineers-ERDC and Galveston District; Figlus, J. (PI), Dellapenna, T. M. (co-PI), Feagin, R., In-situ measurements of physical forces and biological parameters in coastal and estuarine systems, USACOE-Galveston District. $100,000 ($14,572).

October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018: NSF RAPID; Figlus, J. (PI), Dellapenna, T. M. (co-PI), Hurricane Harvey Rapid Response: In-situ barrier island storm impact and recovery measurements of hydrodynamic, morphodynamics and sediment accretion of Hog and Follets Island, TX. PI: Jens Figlus, CoPI: Tim Dellapenna, Total Budget: $36,207 ($9200).

2016: National Science Foundation; Wang, Z. A. (PI; WHOI), Churchill, J. (WHOI), Dellapenna, T. M. (co-PI), Lazar, B., and Wurgaft, E. (WHOI), Collaborative Research: The Role and Mechanisms of Nuclei-induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation in the Coastal Carbon Cycle: A First In-depth Study. $46,970 ($46,970).

2015 - 2016: NSF-RAPID; Joseph Carlin (PI), Dellapenna, T. M. (co-PI), RAPID: Investigating the Link between Fluvial Flood Events, Remobilization, and Preservation in the Stratigraphic Record along the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf. $24,984 ($10,000).

2014 - 2016: NOAA-TX Sea Grant; Figlus, J. (PI), and Dellapenna, T. M. (co-PI), If we lose Follets Island we lose Christmas Bay and coastal communities-Geological Framework and modeling study of Follets Island inner shelf. $261,793 ($50,000).

2013 - 2015: Texas General Land Office; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Figlus, J. (co-PI), Geological Framework Study of Folletts Island, NOAA/Coastal Management Program, $92,000 ($92,000).

2013 - 2015: Texas General Land Office; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Figlus, J. (co-PI), Geological Framework Study of Folletts Island Part 2, NOAA/Coastal Management Program, $110,000, ($75,000)

2007 - 2009: Texas General Land Office; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), and Simons, J. (TWPD/TAMU-CC). Oyster Reef and Benthic Habitat Mapping of Copano Bay. NOAA/Coastal Management Program, $149,000.

2009 - 2011: National Science Foundation; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Seitz, W. (co-PI), Research Experience in Marine Science and Marine Biology in the Gulf of Mexico and other Coastal Oceans at Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG-REU)). $264,660.

2010 - 2013: NOAA-TX Sea Grant; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Weber, E. and Garrison, J. (TAMU-CC), Geological Controls on Submarine Groundwater discharge into an upper bay estuary-Copano Bay. $266,898

2008 - 2009: BOEM-Texas General Land Office; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Preliminary Geological Investigation of the Paleo -Sabine-Trinity Marine Features. 2008-2009, $225,000.

2007 - 2009: Texas General Land Office; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Acquisition of a swath bathymetry system-Benthos C3D. . NOAA/Coastal Management Program, $80,000.

2007 - 2009: Texas General Land Office; Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), and Simons, J. (TWPD/TAMU-CC). Oyster Reef and Benthic Habitat Mapping of Copano Bay. NOAA/Coastal Management Program, $149,000.

​2007 - 2008: Office of Naval Research (ONR); Dellapenna, T. M. (PI), Spatial heterogeneity of geotechnical properties in tidal mud flats, alternative field site investigations of mud flat systems: South Central Alaska. $38,000.

Professional Appointments

2008 - 2012: Director of Undergraduate Research, Texas A&M University at Galveston

Duties: Developed and ran the NSF REU in Marine Science and Marine Biology from 2009-2012, Chaired the TAMUG Research Symposium. Dr. William Seitz bestowed this appointment on me.

Current Graduate Students

Tariq Al Rushed, Ph.D. student, Oceanography-co-Chair

Andrew Whitely, Ph.D. student, Oceanography-co-Chair

Lindsay Cretides, M.S. student, Oceanography-chair

Contact Info

Timothy M. Dellapenna
Associate Professor
Department of Marine and Coastal Environmental Science

Phone: +1 (409) 740.4952
Fax: +1 (409) 741.7171

Ocean and Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 341

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