As a fifth generation Californian, I am deeply attached to our coast and fascinated by its complexity. I am committed to understanding society's relationship with the coast through working with the communities that rely on it most. My research focuses on the "human dimensions" of the California coast—how we affect the coast and how the coast affects.

My goal is to understand—and achieve—coastal sustainability.

I like to think of this as the field of "coastography."



Accessing the Coast
The coast belongs to all of us and is held in trust by the state for the public to use and enjoy. But our ability to do so is predicated on our ability to access itand not everyone has the same amount of access. With colleagues from the Center for Ocean Solutions, we analyzed the distribution of access points and their proximity to different groups of Californians. Understanding coastal access and its availability will become increasingly important as California faces ever-growing pressures from climate change and coastal development. Our results were recently accepted for publication by the Stanford Environmental Law Journal:
  • Reineman, Wedding, Hartge, McEvry, & Reiblich. “Coastal Access Equity and the Implementation of the California Coastal Act.” Stanford Environmental Law Journal.

Coastal Resource Management
This work examines relationships between local knowledge, sense of place, and resource stewardship—each of these has implications for sustainability—and the potential role of citizen science in resource management. These interdisciplinary components center around some of California's most iconic and important natural resources—beaches & waves—by engaging with the surfing community, whose local knowledge of these resources is unrivaledI am collecting and recording their knowledge at 

This project has resulted in several outputs, including:
  • Reineman. 2016. The utility of surfers' wave knowledge for coastal management. Marine Policy 67: 139-147. (view article)
  • Reineman. 2015. The human dimensions of wave resource management. Stanford University Dissertation. (information and background)
Forthcoming:
  • Reineman, Thomas, & Caldwell. In Review. Using local knowledge to project the impacts of sea level rise on wave resources.
  • Reineman & Ardoin. In Review. Nearshore places: Place attachment and disruption in the coastal context.
There are also several other related projects currently in progress, including:
  • An analysis of wave resource vulnerability in Costa Rica, with Diego Sancho. Learn more here.
  • Via a collaboration with the Save The Waves Coalition and researchers at UC Irvine, a comparative study of the World Surfing Reserve system. I presented our initial results at the International Marine Conservation Congress in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Peopled Seascapes
My wider interests include how the human-dimensions of oceans and coasts are and are not incorporated into resource management. See:
  • Koehn, Reineman, & Kittinger. 2013. Progress and promise in spatial human dimensions research for ecosystem-based ocean planning. Marine Policy 42: 31-38. (view article)
  • Kittinger et al. inc. Reineman. 2014. A practical approach for putting people in ecosystem-based ocean planning. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 448-456. (view article)




Early Career
Previously, my focus was below mean tide. I worked and traveled widely before coming back to California and a unifying theme of all my projects was measuring human disturbance on coastal marine systems. As a lab technician at UCLA, my focus was eutrophication on California's coasts. Later, I worked for Reef Check International aboard the Quiksilver Crossing in the Caribbean and for the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies on the San Francisco Bay studying coral reef and estuary health, respectively. At the University of Hawai'i, my research focused on coral reef health assessment and my thesis delved into the relative merits of physiological versus ecological indicators of health.

My interests gradually evolved from 'how we assess ecosystem health' to 'how we manage ecosystem health.' This transition led me to a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship on Capitol Hill where I worked for Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA). I later worked a short stint lobbying on behalf of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I returned to academia out of a desire to better understand the relationships between people and the coast and to share this understanding with others, especially students.