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Kelly Burks-Copes

Kelly Burks-Copes
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

PhD, University of Florida

About

27
Publications
9,524
Reads
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570
Citations
Introduction
Since 2016, I have also led a high-functioning, multi-disciplinary project delivery team (PDT) with a wide range of engineering and science backgrounds, in developing a scope, schedule (with milestones with dependencies), and budget to support the planning and design of the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study (CTPRS) – the USACE’s largest civil works feasibility study. (www.coastalstudy.texas.gov)
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - present
US Army Corps of Engineers
Position
  • Project Manager
Description
  • I currently work for the USACE Galveston District, serving as the Project Manager for the USACE’s largest study in the nation, the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Study (CTPRS), overseeing the efforts of 85 permanent full-time USACE employees spread across the country, and coordinating the efforts of an additional 30+ Texas General Land Office personnel and contractors on a daily basis. As the PM for the study, I am responsible for managing a $21 M budget within a 6-year study schedule
September 2016 - September 2017
US Army Corps of Engineers
Position
  • Section Chief
Description
  • I worked for the USACE Regional Planning & Environment Center, and served as the Chief for the Coastal Section (sitting in the Galveston District Offices), overseeing the efforts of 9 permanent full-time employees, and 3 part-time support planners from the USACE New Orleans District with oversight of contracted tasks as needed. As Section Chief I developed performance standards for each employee, evaluated their performance on a biannual basis, and generated ratings for those employees each yr
January 1998 - November 2015
Engineer Research and Development Center - U.S. Army
Position
  • Research Ecologist
Description
  • For 18 years, I worked for the US Army Engineer Research and Development (ERDC), where I concentrated on developing practical ways to transfer research and technology to the field. For example, I conducted 14 civil works feasibility studies that involved engineering investigations that generated economic and environmental determinations utilizing ERDC R&D products to capture the return on investment (benefits/impacts) of constructing land & water resource projects authorized under ecosystem rest
Education
August 2006 - May 2014
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Interdisciplinary Ecology
August 1991 - May 1993
New Mexico State University
Field of study
  • Biology
August 1987 - May 2021
University of New Mexico
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
Unintended consequences arising from the damming and regulation of large multi-state river systems have generated complex socioecological conflicts that must now be addressed to facilitate ecosystem-based management in a holistic, sustainable, and resilient fashion. In these situations, the involvement of numerous stakeholders with disparate and of...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal communities around the world are facing increased coastal flooding and shoreline erosion from factors such as sea-level rise and unsustainable development practices. Coastal engineers and managers often rely on gray infrastructure such as seawalls, levees and breakwaters, but are increasingly seeking to incorporate more sustainable natural...
Article
Full-text available
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) operates and maintains numerous projects in support of its various civil works missions including flood damage risk reduction, navigation, and ecosystem restoration. Originally authorized on an economic basis, these projects may produce a broad array of unaccounted for ecosystem services (ES) that contribute...
Article
Full-text available
Much of the United States’ critical infrastructure is either aging or requires significant repair, leaving U.S. communities and the economy vulnerable. Outdated and dilapidated infrastructure places coastal communities, in particular, at risk from the increasingly frequent and intense coastal storm events and rising sea levels. Therefore, investmen...
Article
Full-text available
There is great interest in the restoration and conservation of coastal habitats for protection from flooding and erosion. This is evidenced by the growing number of analyses and reviews of the effectiveness of habitats as natural defences and increasing funding world-wide for nature-based defences–i.e. restoration projects aimed at coastal protecti...
Data
Percentage wave height reduction versus relative height of salt-marshes. Field measurements of % wave height reduction versus non-dimensional parameter, hv/h in salt-marshes (n = 8). Red line indicates relative vegetation height hv/h = 1, below which the vegetation is fully submerged. One point (circled in red) with very low relative height and ver...
Data
Percentage wave height reduction versus a) relative wave height and b) relative width in coral reefs. Field measurements of % wave height reduction are plotted versus non-dimensional engineering parameters: (a) Hi/h in reefs (left, n = 27), red line indicates depth-limiting ratio for wave height, Hi/h = 0.78; (b) B/L in coral reefs (right, n = 34)....
Data
Cross-section of a rubble-mound breakwater. Simplified submerged breakwater cross-section for replacement cost estimates, showing parameters that affect wave transmission. Fig is adapted from van der Meer et al. (2005) and US Army Corps of Engineers (2015b). (TIF)
Data
Absolute wave reduction versus wave heights. Absolute wave reduction extents are plotted against incident wave height for a) coral reefs (n = 27); b) mangroves (n = 11); c) salt-marshes (n = 14); d) seagrass/kelp beds (n = 5). This plot excludes measurements that do not report incoming wave heights. (EPS)
Data
Supplementary Methods. See file “S1 Methods.” (DOCX)
Data
Wave reduction percentages, habitat and site properties for different habitat types (see Fig 1 for parameter definitions). n = total number of field measurements for each habitat. Values in brackets indicate 95% confidence intervals. (TXT)
Data
Wave height, habitat conditions and site condition measurements. Metadata included within file. (TXT)
Data
Project–Field Measurement Pairs for Replacement Cost Ratio Analyses. Metadata included within file. (TXT)
Data
Percentage wave reduction versus habitat width. Field measurements of % wave height reduction are plotted versus habitat width for a) coral reefs (n = 34); b) mangroves (n = 14); c) salt-marshes (n = 15); d) seagrass/kelp beds (n = 6). Significant relationship found only for coral reefs. (EPS)
Data
Log response ratio of wave reduction effect size by habitat type. Average effect size as log response ratio of the wave reduction, R due to each habitat type for coral reefs, salt-marshes, mangroves and seagrass/kelp beds. Dots represent average values and error bars represent 95% Confidence Intervals). The averages are considered significant (p<0....
Data
Project data on habitat type, conditions, project extents, costs and benefits. Metadata included within file. (TXT)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A coupled flow and wave model, the Coastal Modeling System (CMS), was developed to simulate synthetic tropical storms with the consideration of future sea level rise (SLR) scenarios and to evaluate the potential coastal inundation at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. The CMS capability for surge and inundation calculations was validated with Hurrica...
Article
The potential risk and effects of storm-surge damage caused by the combination of hurricane-force waves, tides, and relative sea-level-rise (RSLR) scenarios were examined at the U.S. Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. A hydrodynamic and sediment transport modeling system validated with measured water levels from Hurricane Isabel was used to simulate...
Article
Rising sea levels threaten to increase coastal storm hazard impacts at landfall. These phenomena have potential to enlarge the frequency and magnitude of mission performance losses at coastal military installations. This project entailed development of a rigorous yet flexible tiered vulnerability and impact assessment approach for demonstration in...
Article
A nearshore hydrodynamic and sediment transport model was developed to simulate synthetic storms with design SLR scenarios surrounding the military installations in Norfolk, Virginia. Foreseeable risk and effect of storm surge damage accompanied by waves, tides, and Sea Level Rise (SLR) were examined. The final results include the evaluation of imp...
Poster
Future climate scenarios predict a roughly 5 degree increase in mean annual air temperatures for the Alaskan Interior over the next 80 years. This is expected to be enough to initiate permafrost degradation in Interior Alaska which could lead to widespread thermokarst and talik development and potentially a thicker seasonally thawed (active) layer....
Article
Full-text available
Corps of Engineers planners have been required to consider risk and uncertainty since the Principles and Standards Act of 1972. The Actions for Change are increasing the Corps of Engineers' reliance on risk-informed analysis and decision making. An informal review of the Corps' experience with ecosystem restoration plans has shown few, if any, syst...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
In the past year (2021), I have led the Communication PDT for the entire Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Program (S2G), providing critical leadership for a group of multi-disciplinary subject matter experts (SMEs) responsible for facilitating, coordinating, and documenting key messaging across the S2G Program as a whole. The S2G Program is being implemented to reduce the risk of storm surge impacts in Orange, Jefferson, and Brazoria Counties, Texas. CSRM is the planning and implementation of features along the coast that are designed to reduce the risk of damage created by storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms. CSRM measures look different depending on the location and need, but are all constructed to reduce the risk of damages from coastal storms, minimize impacts to floodplains, and avoid environmentally significant areas. The Program is comprised of three projects, one which entails the construction of a new CSRM levee system in southern Orange County, and two which consist of improvements to existing Hurricane Flood Protection projects (HFPP) at Port Arthur and Freeport. (https://www.swg.usace.army.mil/S2G/)
Project
Enhance the resilience of coastal Texas through multiple lines of defense - both coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration. CoastalStudy.texas.gov