“My research visualized the diurnal and seasonal sedimentary behavior along the Amazon Tidal River. Using suspended-sediment concentrations (SSC), I traced the spatial dissipation of the tidal signal along the length of the tidal river as well as the changes in SSC throughout a tidal cycle.
This presentation was a culmination of the irreplaceable years I have spent with the Sediment Dynamics Lab. To conduct research from data I helped collect was incredibly unique and gave me insight into what it takes to pull off such massive projects. I am so grateful to this lab for giving me such valuable experiences as well as unforgettable memories.”
My work in the UW Sediment Dynamics Lab began about 2 years ago after spending a quarter in a research apprenticeship with Andrea Ogston and Emily Eidam. Since then, I’ve spent most of my time doing grain-size analysis on sediment samples from the Mekong River in Vietnam, the Amazon River in Brazil, and the Elwha River in northwestern Washington. My experiences and knowledge gained through working in this lab have been incredible, and they set the stage very well for my upcoming transition to graduate school.
This summer I begin working towards my next big goal, a Master’s degree in Geology from Boston College. A whole new set of challenges awaits, and I have this lab job to thank for my preparedness and eagerness to tackle them. The time spent with the people in this lab group has taught me a lot about research and grad student life, as well as the best way to process a sediment sample containing both gravel and mud.
When I graduated from UW last spring, my options were wide open and I had no idea what I would end up doing. My plan was to not really have one. Chuck Nittrouer and Andrea Ogston kept me in their lab, providing me with a stable job over the past year. Also, Andrea put me in touch with my soon-to-be advisor/PI at Boston College, Gail Kineke. This group has provided me with much support, from writing letters of recommendation to introductory Matlab skills, and plenty of samples to analyze to keep me busy.
I am eager to take what I’ve learned in this lab and apply it during my next journey. Because of the nurturing environment this lab group has created, I feel very well prepared to become a graduate student.
“It’s not dirt, it’s sediment!”
- Kevin Simans
Kevin explores the bottom of former Lake Mills on the Elwha River (Washington State, Olympic Peninsula). The remains of Glines Canyon Dam can be seen in the background.
During Winter Quarter 2015, Chuck taught the Stratigraphy course in Earth & Space Sciences (ESS 455). Topics covered: lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, and basin analysis. That’s a bunch of strat and nicely complements all the modern sedimentary topics covered in our lab group.
The 2014 AGU Meeting was a great success! Prior to the official start of AGU, we met with other collaborators researching the Mekong Delta to share information and plan for future field efforts, meetings, and modeling workshops. We plan to have a session dedicated to the Mekong Delta Project at Ocean Sciences 2015 in New Orleans! There will also be a modeling workshop for students held in Vietnam later this year! Many people in our group gave great talks at AGU. Andrea Ogston presented results from our preliminary studies in Vietnam, Emily Eidam presented her work on the Elwha River, and to wrap up AGU, Aaron Fricke gave a talk on his work in the Amazon River. Congratulations to all the speakers!
Congratulations to Dr. Dan Nowacki! Dan turned in his dissertation, entitled “Sediment dynamics in tidal environments spanning a range of fluvial influence”, over the winter break. His dissertation research covers a wide range of environments from the shallow tidal flats of Willapa Bay, to the intertidal channel environments along the tidal Amazon River, to the distributary channels of the Mekong tidal river and estuary. The next step for Dan is a prestigious Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. In March, he moves to Woods Hole, Massachusetts to join the USGS Coastal and Marine Science Center. Congratulations, Dan, on a job well done!
Last fall Chuck and Dave Montgomery (ESS) taught Ocean/ESS 230, “Rivers and Beaches,” a class which introduces students to the geology of river systems in a complete source-to-sink framework from the headwaters to the marine environment. This is a popular science class for both majors and non-majors, and includes a Nisqually River field trip, Puget Sound field trip (aboard the R/V Thompson), and Olympic Peninsula camping trip depending on whether students take the 3-credit or 5-credit option. This year’s class saw the Nisqually just prior to a winter flood, explored muddy deposits of Puget Sound, and witnessed the type of winds and waves that help shape beaches on the outer coast.
The class learns about grain sizes (boulders!) at the headwaters of the Nisqually, just downstream of the Nisqually Glacier in Mt. Rainier National Park.
Dave explains differences in stream morphology between the upper and lower watershed
Students help cast a large CTD “rosette,” an instrument and sampling package which collects water and measurements of temperature and salinity as it travels to the bottom of the Sound.
Just a quick update from the field — Week 1 of Mekong field work went well; after planning meetings, the channel group (UW + Tulane + VNU) started multibeam and water column surveys, the mangrove group (UW + U. of Waikato … Continue reading →
Congrats to Katie who completed her dissertation, entitled “Fjord sedimentation during the rapid retreat of tidewater glaciers: observations and modeling.” Katie is leaving for an exciting new position as a Research Geologist in the Upstream Research Company at Exxon. Way to go Katie!
Dan C. spent the end of August in Saigon organizing logistics for the September field work. The scientific equipment has arrived, and we are excited to start in the field in a couple weeks. Here’s a view of the Saigon River from downtown Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), about 130 km northwest of our study site on the tidal Mekong River:
A big congratulations to Rip Hale, who successfully defended his dissertation on August 22! Rip’s dissertation was titled “Investigating sediment transport on the Waipaoa margin: linking in situ observations with preserved deposits.” Areas of focus included river-ocean coherence of sediment transport events, signal propagation in Poverty Bay, mechanics of wave-supported fluid muds, and identification of past event deposits through digital analyses. Rip is now headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville for a post-doctoral position focusing on the Ganges-Brahmaputra River dispersal system. Way to go, Rip!!!