Beach image

Brittany Ubiñas Rivera

2023 Seed Grant Awardee

Project Description

Beach Profiling

Graphic includes bio photo, project logos, project name, and Brittany's bio info.

This project focuses on the vulnerability and impact of climate change on the coastal municipalities of Puerto Rico, where a significant portion of the population resides. With approximately 700 miles of coastline and 1,285 beaches, the region is exposed to the effects of hurricanes and storm surges. Coastal populations, particularly those below the poverty level, face heightened vulnerability to these impacts.

To better understand and document changes in the coast over time, the project proposes a citizen science initiative through beach profiling and educational experiences. The goal of this project is to complement the initiatives led by the OCEANOS team. OCEANOS interns and residents in the municipalities of Culebra and Guánica, Puerto Rico, will participate in beach profiling workshops, in order to learn and understand beach profiling concepts, types of measuring methods and site visit strategies.

There will be guided field visits to monitor the state of four beaches throughout the four seasons in the period of 1 year.

Target Audience Age


NASA Division


Grant Status

Learning Context

Digital Learning

Home and family enabled

Neighborhood /

Informal /
Out of School

Home / Family

Citizen Science

Formal Education


We aspire to give back to the community by teaching and providing tools to monitor beach dynamics. Through [this] opportunity we can empower the participating communities by teaching them how to collect data on beach dynamics, interpret the information and make planned decisions concerning the well-being and vulnerability of nearby communities.

Brittany Ubiñas Rivera Beach Profiling PI

Brittany M. Ubiñas Rivera

Beach Profiling PI
Graduate Student
Sociedad Ambiente Marino

Brittany M. Ubiñas Rivera is a local from the coastal town of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico. She coursed a bachelor’s degree in Biology, at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Having a strong sense of belonging and being fascinated by the coastal environment, she has been actively participating and working with community outreach programs concerning coastal communities, such as the Sea Grant Program established at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Planning and working with the Coastal Research and Planning Institute as a research assistant studying beach erosion after major events such as Hurricane María (2017) and Hurricane Fiona (2022). After graduating, she plans on getting licensed as a Planner and continue developing community outreach efforts based on vulnerable coastal communities.

SciAct Team

OCEANOS Description

The OCEANOS project centers on the hypothesis of: NASA Observations and science coupled with low-cost in-water instrumentation can significantly increase STEM education and enthusiasm among low-income 1st generation Hispanic/Latino students, particularly in regard to oceanographic and coastal issues. Our goal is to use combined NASA ocean color data and in situ oceanographic parameters to improve the capacity and awareness among low-income students on how these two can be used to monitor water quality affecting coastal shallow-water marine ecosystems in Caribbean waters.

[The project is] an excellent opportunity to increase the knowledge of participants on a topic important for Puerto Rico: how beaches are modified throughout the year and how citizens can aid in the monitoring of such important coastal features and ecosystems. The participation of Brittany and Samiris as local SMEs is ideal as they [are] trained by the main geomorphologist in Puerto Rico.

Juan Torres-Perez OCEANOS PI