Aquatic Accidents: Expert witness consulting by Ph.D. Scientists


Dr. Stephen B. Leatherman


11401 SW 87th Avenue

Miami, Florida 33176 305-965-0074




  • Ph.D. in Earth System Science: Geosciences, Florida International

    University, 2018.

  • BS in Environmental Science, New College--the Honors College of

    Florida, 2013.

  • Graduated as honor student at Palmetto Senior High School, 2009.


Refereed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • Leatherman, S. B., and Porter, J., 2019, Particle Image Velocimetry

    Tracking of Rip Currents Using Drones, North Shore of Oahu,

    Hawaii, in preparation.

  • Leatherman, S. B., 2019, Rip Current Generation and Management

    Implications in South Florida, in preparation.

  • Zhang, K., Zhang, M. and Leatherman, S. B., 2019, Quantifying and Rating Rip Current Hazards for Beachgoers, Natural Hazards, in review.

  • Leatherman, S.B., 2017, Techniques for Rip Current Detection and Measurement, International Journal of Earth Science & Geophysics, 3:014.

  • Leatherman, S. B., 2017, Rip Flow Characteristics and Escape Strategies in South Florida, Shore and Beach, V. 85, p. 30-34.

  • Leatherman, S. B., 2017, Rip Current Measurements at Three South Florida Beaches, Journal of Coastal Research, V. 33, p. 1228-1234.

  • Leatherman S. P. and Leatherman, S. B., 2017, Sea Level Change, in the International Encyclopedia of Geography, People, the Earth, Environment and Technology, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, p. 6084- 6093.

  • Leatherman, S. B., 2016, Rip Currents in South Florida: A Major Coastal Hazard and Management Challenge, Journal of Coastal Zone Management, V. 19:431, Doi: 10.4172/2473-3350.1000431.

  • Leatherman, S. B., 2015, Rip current hazard on Florida and South Georgia beaches, Shore and Beach, V. 83, p 63-66.

  • Leatherman, S. B., Leatherman, S. P. and Haus, B., 2013. Bar height and rip current presence and strength, Shore and Beach, V. 81, 19-22.


Professional Presentations

  • “Quantifying and Rating Rip Current Hazard in South Florida,”

    Florida Society of Geographers, Orlando, Florida, February 8, 2019.

  • “Rip Current Generation, Flow Characteristics, and Implications for

    Beach Safety in South Florida,” American Association of

    Geographers Annual Meeting, Melbourne, Florida, February 10, 2018.

  • “Rip Current Detection and Measurement in South Florida,” Seminar

    Series, New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL, October 13, 2017.

  • “Rip Current Measurements at Three South Florida Beaches,”

    National Hurricane Center, Miami, FL, July 14, 2016.

  • “Rip Current Activity in Florida,” Rip Current Workshop, Jaco Beach,

    Costa Rica, July 14, 2014.

  • “Rip Current Hazard on Florida and South Georgia Beaches,”

    American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Tampa, Florida, April 9, 2014.


Professional Research Experience

  • Drone particle image velocimetry of rip currents on the North Shore

    of Oahu, Hawaii in conjunction with Dr. John Porter of the University

    of Hawaii, March 2018

  • Public Survey of Beachgoer’s Knowledge of Rip Currents at Coopers

    Beach for Eastern Long Island Coastal Conservation Alliance, Inc,

    Southampton, New York, July 2013.

  • Erosion Hotspot Identification Using Geographic Information

    Systems on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, January 2012.

  • Wave Tank Experiment of Rip Currents at the University of Miami,

    January 2011.

  • Forest Vegetation Density Investigation in the Amazon River, Peru

    through New College of Florida, January 2010.

  • Hurricanes in Belize – Implications for Aerial Distribution of Papaya

    Crops for Brooks Tropical, Homestead, Florida, June 2010.

  • Cliff Stability Analysis in Peconic Bay on Long Island, NY for

    Belvedere Management Company, New York City, July 2009.


Professional Organizations

  • Member, Geological Society of America, 2015 - present.

  • Member, American Association of Geographers, 2014 - present.

  • Member, Florida Society of Geographers, 2016 - present.


Technical Expertise

  • Trimble R8 RTK GPS

  • RIEGL Terrestrial Lidar

  • DJI Phantom Drone


Relevant Graduate Coursework

  • Coastal Processes

  • Coastal Hazards

  • Hydrogeologic Modeling

  • GIS Analysis in the Earth Sciences

  • Advanced GIS for Environmental Data

  • Remote Sensing in Hydrology

  • Geophysical Data Analysis

  • Earth Systems Modeling


Awards and Honors

  • Presidential Fellowship from Florida International University (2013-


  • Bright Future Scholarship and New College Scholarship (2009-2013).

  • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America (2008).

  • National Honor Roll, Palmetto Senior High School.



  • Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (sUAV) professional license (2018).

  • NAUI scuba certification (2012).

  • Lifeguard certification by American Red Cross (2009).

  • CPR certification by American Red Cross (2009).

  • Boating License (Canada).