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Coastal and Estuarine Physical Oceanography

The coastal oceanography research group at the University of Oregon focuses on understanding the dynamics of how estuarine circulation and the shelf interact. We use a combination of observational oceanography and numerical modeling techniques to investigate how well our current conceptual models of these regions work. The coastal ocean is a critical area environmentally: population pressure is increasing, particularly near the coast, which brings additional stress to the nearshore ecosystem. On top of these anthropogenic impacts, estuaries and nearshore ocean regions display striking natural variations on timescales from tidal to seasonal to interannual. Understanding how this variability influences the estuarine and coastal circulation is the primary question driving our group. The circulation in these regions drives many of the headline-grabbing science topics in the news today: How fast will sea level rise? If there is an oil spill in Coos Bay, where will it disperse? What drives hypoxia and dead zones on the Oregon shelf? What impact does meltwater have on fjord circulation?

Since coming to the University of Oregon, we have focused on two specific regions: (1) the high-latitute fjords of Greenland that connect the coastal ocean to the Greenland ice sheet, and (2) Coos Bay, a small, seasonally variable PNW estuary on the southern Oregon Coast.

NEWS (archived news)

  • Welcome to Dan Sulak! He's starting a MSc here in Sept. 2014.

  • Congrats to Molly O'Neill on finishing up her MSc this summer (Sept 2014)!! She looked at seasonal hydrography and DO levels in Coos Bay, Oregon.

  • Congrats to George Roth who finished his Masters on iceberg tracking in Sermilik Fjord and got a job! He'll be starting at the Polar Geospatial Center this summer! (June 2014)

  • Two new papers coming out: a comparison of Sermilik Fjord and Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord in JGR (Sutherland et al. 2014) and time series observations of velocity in Sermilik Fjord in Nature Geoscience (Jackson et al. 2014). Cool! (June 2014)

Check out other marine science happening at the UO!

 

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(atop skinner's butte)


People

Faculty

Dave Sutherland
dave Dave's CV (.pdf).

Dave is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, as well as core faculty in the Environmental Studies Program and the new Environmental Science Institute (ESI). He is a coastal physical oceanographer who loves all things ocean, especially when he can dive in himself.

Publications: NOTE: also check my CV for the most up to date list.

Graduate Students

Dustin Carroll, PhD candidate
dustin Dustin comes to UO with a MSc in Physical Oceanography from Moss Landing Marine Labs. His interests here lie in high-latitude oceanography, particularly in ice-ocean interactions in Greenland fjords. He has developed 2-D and 3-D models of both Rink Isbrae and KS fjords in the Uummannaq Fjord region of west Greenland, and participated in field work there since 2013.

 

Past students

George Roth, finished MSc, Spring 2014
george George received a BS in Oceanography from UW. His research is looking at the impact of icebergs on fjord stratification and using icebergs as drifters to characterize the circulation in these fjords.

Molly O'Neill, finished MSc, summer 2014
molly Molly obtained a BS in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Lehigh, as well as a M.Ed in Secondary Education. She is the leader of our observational work in Coos Bay, OR, working with scientists from the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology and the South Slough to understand the impacts of estuarine circulation on dissolved oxygen variability.

Opportunities

Interested in graduate or undergraduate research in physical oceanography or interdisciplinary oceanography at UO? Please contact me with your research interests and general background. I am always looking to talk to motivated students with strong math and physics backgrounds! Students can participate through Geological Sciences or through the Environmental Science Institute.

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People

Research

Teaching

Publications

MyOcean Links

Opportunities

Contact:

UO Campus address:
204 Volcanology
map here

Mailing address:
1272 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403

email: dsuth_at_uoregon.edu
phone: (541) 346-8753

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last updated 15-sep-14


Research

         - Link to NASA-funded West Greenland project (2012-2015)
         - Check out this issue of Annals of Glaciology for the latest on Sermilik Fjord and other ice-ocean topics

         - Oregon Institute of Marine Biology: new NSF grant funded with A. Shanks and R. Emlet on wintertime spawning
         - Link to Puget Sound modeling work (MoSSea)
         - Article on development of Coos Bay model

         - My thesis and first publications were on the East Greenland Coastal Current
         - Check out the Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes (ASOF) program and links therein


Teaching

 



Oceanography Links

Oregon-related

Marine Science at UO
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB)
Oregon State Physical Oceanography
South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

General

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
UW Oceanography
Parker MacCready, UW
Fiamma Straneo, WHOI
Bob Pickart, WHOI