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“My love of sand began as a child. My parents had the notion that if one neighbor has a basketball hoop and another a threehouse, then my family should also have an attraction for the neighborhood kids. I had the biggest backyard sand box in Charlotte, North Carolina. I loved it. Every year I opted for a beach vacation to play in the world’s largest sandbox and frolic in the surf.” Dr. Stephen Leartherman

Dr. Beach

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About Dr. Stephen Leartherman – Dr. Beach

For more than 25 years, Dr. Stephen Leatherman (“Dr. Beach”) has reviewed, evaluated and rated beaches and coastal areas throughout the world. In addition to his annual ranking of America’s Best Beaches, he works tirelessly to increase awareness about the dangers of rip currents.

Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman is Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental (Coastal) Sciences from the University of Virginia, and completed his undergraduate degree in Geosciences at North Carolina State University.

Prior to joining FIU, Stephen was Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at the University of Maryland; Director of the National Park Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology at Boston University.

Stephen has authored or edited 16 books, including Sea Level Rise: Causes and Consequences; Barrier Island Handbook; Overwash Processes; Cape Cod: From Glaciers to Beaches; and America’s Best Beaches. He has also authored over 200 journal articles and technical reports, including articles in both Science and Nature.

Stephen has provided expert testimony multiple times for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. He was also the on-screen host and co-producer of the 1992 film “Vanishing Lands”, winner of three international film awards, including the Golden Eagle.


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