Chuck Nittrouer

Chuck’s research interests include the modern and ancient formation of sedimentary strata in continental margin environments, and the effects of physical and biological oceanic processes on sedimentary characteristics. He obtained his Ph.D in Geological Oceanography at the University of Washington in 1978 and returned to join the UW faculty in 1998.


Andrea Ogston

Andrea was drawn to the study of sediment transport while driving past mud flats, walking along beaches with crashing waves, and sailing across river plumes laden with sediment. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon State University, and after a few years in environmental consulting she returned to academia for graduate study in Oceanography. Since joining the faculty in the School of Oceanography in 2000, she has focused her research on the interaction between geological and physical oceanography of the coastal ocean, using observational techniques to study the dispersal of sediment from river to deep sea.

CV; Publications


Nils Asp

Nils graduated from FURG, Brazil in Oceanography in 1996 and obtained his PhD. in Coastal Geology in 2004 at CAU, Germany. Since September 2005 Nils has been a faculty member of the Institute for Coastal Studies – IECOS (UFPA, Brazil). He is joining the faculty of the School of Oceanography at UW as a visiting researcher for 2017 – 2018. Nils’ main research interest is coastal evolution in a broad perspective in wave- to tide-dominated, tropical environments. He investigates short-term dynamics to long-term evolution through geomorphology and stratigraphy. Recent projects are focused at the complex and interconnected area of the low Amazon River, the adjacent tide-dominated coast and the contiguous continental shelf.


Wes Lauer

Wes is a faculty member at Seattle University in the College of Science and Engineering and an affiliate member of the UW School of Oceanography.




Graduate students

Hannah Glover

Hannah GloverHannah graduated from Bowdoin College in 2013 with a degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science. After graduating she worked as a field engineer at the Applied Physics Lab at UW, building and maintaining oceanographic moorings for the ORCA and NEMO programs. Hannah joined the UW School of Oceanography in 2016, where she is investigating the intersections of geology and oceanography. Her Masters focused on the effects of suspended sediment on light penetration near the mouth of the Elwha River following dam removal. Her PhD work is focused on sediment transport in the Ayeyarwady River delta, Myanmar, and in Tauranga Harbor, New Zealand. She is examining the processes which keep lowlying, coastal areas above sea level over large (200 kilometers) to small (centimeters) spatial scales, and the impacts of mangrove removal (deforestation) in these locations. Outside of school, Hannah enjoys backpacking, experimenting with sourdough, and trying new board games.



Evan Lahr

Evan graduated from Carleton College in 2017 with a degree in Geology. His love for field work had him traveling to Alaska, Australia, or Lake Superior each summer, always learning a new discipline of geology. After graduation, his focus narrowed to geomorphology. Fascinated by the continual changes of rivers and glaciers, and curious to learn how they will evolve alongside our climate, he joined the Sediment Dynamics Lab in 2018. While out of the lab, Evan enjoys pairing coffee with movement, mainly climbing, skiing, and foosball.



Sarah Vollero

Sarah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 with a degree in Geology and Environmental Science. While an interest in dinosaurs was what began her journey into geology, it was her interest in sedimentology and geomorphology in marine environments which led her to join the Sediment Dynamics Lab after graduation. Her work will begin with studying the interconnections of feeder bluff armoring and their associated beaches and ecosystems. Outside of school, Sarah enjoys exploring museums, trying new foods, and playing scrabble.


Elizabeth Davis (affiliated student in ESS)

Elizabeth is a PhD student in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences . Her work focuses on refining the timing and cataloging geologic effects of recent earthquakes, landslides, and floods in western Washington rivers and estuaries. She earned a MS in Applied Geosciences from UW in 2018 and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Math from Indiana University in 2014. While at UW, she has had the opportunity to work on a variety of hazards-related field projects, including describing sedimentary evidence for paleo-liquefaction in the Duwamish delta in Seattle, collecting a new marine seismic reflection survey of shallow sediments that cross the Seattle Fault Zone, and tracing ancient flood deposits on islands in the Columbia River estuary. In the future, she hopes to continue hazards-related field research in ways that contribute to planning and policy-making.


Undergraduate Lab Assistants

Mariah Josten

“Mariah is a senior in oceanography with an interest in coastal oceanography and marine sediment. Outside of school, she enjoys reading books, yoga, and taking care of plants.”


Research Scientist Alumni

Daniel Culling

Dan received his B.S. in Geology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Paralleling these studies Dan also worked in a marine and atmospheric fluid dynamics lab directed towards understanding Hydrocarbon and greenhouse gas source to sink relationships. Using novel equipment he monitored natural gas bubble formation at the seafloor, profiled bubble evolution in the water column, and ultimately tracked natural gas fate to the water column and atmosphere. Dan then moved on to the Solomon Marine Geochemistry lab at the UW where he studied pore water fluid flux at active margins using innovative equipment. Most recently he has found his home in the UW Sediment Dynamics group within the oceanography department where he is concentrating his efforts on the ONR funded Mekong River Delta project, specifically sediment accumulation and fate within the mangrove forest of Cu Lao Dung, Vietnam. Dan enjoys getting his hands dirty at work and at play, facilitating both research and daily life, sailing, hiking, biking, and the requisite photography.



Recent Visiting Graduate Students

Estefânia Godinho

I am a Ph.D student and have been a participant of the Environmental Oceanography Graduate Program in the Federal University of Espirito Santo in Brazil since 2012. My research is about coastal Sediment Dynamics, particularly in variability of sedimentary processes and mud deposit formation. My work includes processing mud and sand samples and physical data in order to understand the current sediment dynamic of the Doce River Continental Shelf – Southeastern Brazil.

Through the CAPES program in Brazil, I have been a visiting student at the UW School of Oceanography for the past six months. My main goal here is to increase my knowledge in sedimentary and hydrodynamic processes occurring in coastal areas and on continental shelves. Meanwhile, I intend to take part in daily lab activities learning new techniques which can help me obtain a better scientific background (collaborations are welcome to the development of my thesis).

During my free time, I like watching movies and visiting places around the city.


Suzan Pequeño

Suzan is a PhD student at the Federal University of Para (UFPA) in Brazil in the Marine Geology and Geochemistry Graduate Program. She is currently participating in the PDSE program as a visiting student at the UW School of Oceanography. Her current work includes processing mud samples from the Coreau estuary in northeastern Brazil, in order to determine accumulation rate and particle size. Her graduate work is entitled “Recognizing coastal environments by remote sensing,” and focuses on the morphologic estuary evolution of the Coreau River estuary in northeastern Brazil over three time scales. In her free time, she loves reading, hiking, rowing, and boxing.


Wenhua Gao

Wenhua is from Nanjing University in China and came to the UW as a visiting student for one year, from September 2013 to September 2014. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Marine Geology, studying sediment sources and transport in ocean. Wenhua has already carried out research on sediment and dissolved solids in alpine glacier catchments, and their relationship with climate change in northwest China, which helped her discover her interest in sediment dynamic processes. Now, her research focuses on the quantitative analysis of marine sediment sources and sediment transport rates in the southern Yellow Sea in China, using tracer methods and models. Apart from research, she enjoys traveling, photography and climbing.



PhD Alumni

 Robin McLachlan

Robin McLachlan received her BS in Geology from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, a coastal university that facilitated her interests in human-ocean interactions. Her undergraduate research and thesis focused on the coastal sediment dynamics of Folly Beach, SC in response to beach renourishment and groin installation. After graduating from the College of Charleston, Robin worked for the South Carolina Geological Survey. There, she worked on the Broad River Basin Project and studied sediment transport and erosion mitigation efforts in many small rivers. In 2014, Robin came to the University of Washington to continue her research in coastal sediment dynamics, particularly in response to anthropogenic alteration and climate change. She is currently studying sediment dynamics of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and Brazilian mangrove forests. In her free time, Robin enjoys being outside, scuba diving, hiking, and reading.

CV; Website; Twitter


Aaron Fricke

Aaron graduated from Carleton College in 2009 with a degree in Geology and joined the School of Oceanography at UW in 2010.  After completing his PhD in 2017, he stayed on at UW to finish a project examining morphodynamics of the Ayeyarwady tidal river in Myanmar. Aaron’s master’s work focused on froude-supercritical flows and their resultant deposits in Lake Chelan, WA.  Aaron’s PhD research focused on sedimentary processes and deposits along the fluvial–tidal continuum in the Amazon and Mekong River systems. Within the Amazon system his work explored sediment trapping where the Tapajós and Xingu Rivers meet the Amazon River, as well as river-floodplain exchange and bank morphology along the Amazon tidal river.  In the Mekong, Aaron’s research focused the processes leading to asymmetric progradation of a coastal mangrove forest on the delta’s edge.  In his spare time Aaron enjoys crabbing and shrimping in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.


Emily Eidam

Emily EidamEmily became interested in marine sediment transport while completing BS degrees in Geology and Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and while hiking around the tidal flats of Cook Inlet near Anchorage. After interning with private, municipal, and state civil engineering groups, she joined the University of Washington School of Oceanography in 2011 to pursue a PhD in marine sediment transport. Her research focuses on sediment dispersal and seabed formation offshore of the Elwha River following dam removal, and offshore of the Mekong River while dams are being constructed.



Dan Nowacki

Dan came to the UW in 2008 after a stint at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Research Program, where he studied flow and transport in the Florida Everglades. His undergraduate degree is from Syracuse University, and he completed his M.S.E. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the UW in 2010, where he investigated sediment transport in and removal from the Columbia River plume. He’s now pursuing his Ph.D. in Oceanography, studying sediment transport and fluid mechanics in various tidally influenced environments, including tidal flats and large tidal rivers. Apart from research, he enjoys traveling to South America, hiking the North Cascades, and working on his 22-year-old Toyota Land Cruiser.

CV; Website


Rip Hale

Rip graduated from Brown University in 2006, receiving a BS with Honors in Geology/Biology. His senior thesis employed coastal sediment cores to reconstruct the record of major hurricanes in the northeast US over the past 5000 years. After working as a coastal geologist for a Boston-area environmental consulting firm, Rip returned to academia in the fall of 2008 in pursuit of a masters and PhD at the UW. Rip is interested in nearshore sediment transport; specifically, linking instrument data with data from sediment cores to understand transport processes and deposition. For his masters degree, Rip used cores to study the effects of a major typhoon on sedimentation in a submarine canyon off the SW coast of Taiwan. For his PhD, Rip is studying the fate of sediment exiting the Waipaoa river in New Zealand, and what processes are responsible for transporting it along, across, and off the continental shelf. Outside of his research, Rip enjoys all-things outdoors, especially cycling, rock climbing, snowboarding, and camping.




Katie Boldt

Katie graduated from Dartmouth College in 2008 with a degree in Earth Sciences. While there, she spent a semester with the Sea Education Association (SEA) and discovered her interest in the oceans. For her undergraduate thesis, she helped calibrate a 2000-year record of major hurricane events along the northeastern coast based on preserved layers in the sedimentary record. After a summer working for SEA, Katie headed to UW to continue studying coastal sedimentary processes and archives. Her master’s work involved relating sediment transport processes to short-and long-term sediment deposition patterns and rates in Willapa Bay, WA. For her PhD, she is working in Alaska, Patagonia, and western Antarctic Peninsula fjords to study the processes controlling the erosion, transfer and accumulation of sediment in glacial-marine environments. Besides glaciers and the ocean, Katie loves outdoor sports, running and throwing pottery.

CV; Website


Kristen Lee Webster

Kristen’s PhD research includes the sediment dispersal and accumulation of small deltas in Puget Sound, specifically the Elwha and Skagit River deltas. She traces sediment through the water to the seabed, using time series instruments and sediment cores. Kristen came to UW Oceanography to learn more about sediment transport after finishing her M.S. in Earth Science at the University of Maine, there she studied post glacial sea-level change in the Gulf of Maine, using seabed techniques (long cores, multibeam, seismic, and side scan) to date drowned shoreline deposits at -60 m water depth. She received her B.A. in Geosciences from Williams College and after graduating worked at the US Geological Survey in the Coastal Marine Geology Program in Menlo Park, CA. Kristen is also interested in new ways to get undergrads and GK-12 students excited about geology.


Undergraduate alumni

Jenny Renee

Jenny ReneeJenny is a transfer student at UW pursuing degrees in Environmental Studies and Oceanography. She became interested in marine sediment after taking the Rivers & Beaches class with Chuck NittrouerDuring her first year at the UW, Jenny has participated in the Friday Harbor Labs marine biology quarter and will be returning for the Marine Sedimentary processes apprenticeship with Andrea Ogston. In the lab, she is currently working on multiple projects and some of her tasks include, grain-size analysis, Pb and Gamma prepping, and water filtration analysis. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, traveling, and volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium as a diver!

Khadijah Homolka

Khadijah HomolkaKhadijah graduated from UW in 2017 with degrees in Earth and Space Science and Oceanography. She was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, which cultivated her love for the ocean and mountains. Since May 2014, she has participated in undergraduate research at UW, and has presented her research at various conferences around the state. Khadijah was also part of the VISIONS’15 Expedition to Axial Seamount where she first discovered her interest in oceanography, which eventually brought her to the Sediment Dynamics Lab. In the lab, Khadijah is currently analyzing sediment cores from Antarctica for 210Pb, and learning how to use the Sedigraph. She enjoys hiking, playing steel drums, collecting rocks and watching martial arts movies in her free time.


Julia Marks

Julia graduated from the UW School of Oceanography in 2015. Her interests are based in Marine Geology and Geophysics and she has had the opportunity to participate in research focusing on sediment-transport processes of various environments. Julia has worked closely with Andrea Ogston and Chuck Nittrouer for much of her undergraduate career. She is an alumni of the Friday Harbor Labs research apprenticeship on Marine Sedimentary Processes, and participated in Amazon River research which she presented at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium (see blog post here).


Kevin Simans

Kevin graduated from the UW School of Oceanography in 2014. He was an alumni of the Friday Harbor Labs research apprenticeshipKevin Simans on Marine Sedimentary Proceses (see blog posts about the class and research cruise), and completed a senior thesis project on beach composition and morphology adjacent to the Elwha River mouth during dam removal. He continued working in the Sed Lab after graduation, and performed a variety of lab analyses on samples from the Amazon and Mekong river systems. In summer 2015, Kevin moved to Boston to start a master’s program with Dr. Gail Kineke. See Kevin’s farewell blog entry here.


Brianna Sweeney

Brianna graduated from the UW School of Oceanography in 2014. She studied the morphology of the submarine Elwha Delta during the 2013 Friday Harbor Labs research apprenticeship on Marine Sedimentary Processes (see blog posts about the class and research cruise). Following the class, she worked in the Sed Lab analyzing seabed, sediment trap, and short-lived isotope samples from the Elwha Delta during the later phases of dam removal.


Morgan Mackaay

Morgan MackaayMorgan is an undergraduate at UW, pursuing a career in computer sciences. She participated in the Friday Harbor Labs Marine Sedimentary Processes apprenticeship with Andrea Ogston her freshman year, and has been interested in sedimentology ever since. Currently she is helping process Mekong shelf samples. This work includes grain-size analyses, Pb-210 analyses, and gamma spectroscopy.

Caity Fisher
Caity Fisher

Caity majored in Cellular/Molecular/Developmental Biology and Oceanography. Her love for the ocean stems from growing up in Southern California, where she learned to sail and scuba dive when she was 11. In 2014, she studied abroad in Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia with Julian Sachs and now works in the Sed Lab here at UW. Her jobs in lab are, but are not limited to, grain-size analysis, Pb prepping, and naming of the Sedigraph machines. In her free time, she plays rugby for UW, skateboards, and enjoys tidepooling and hiking across the state.

Kaelyn Trappkaelyntrapp_profile

Kaelyn is an undergraduate in the UW Earth and Space Sciences geology program. She would like to focus on deltaic systems and explore studying coastal environments in general. She has worked in the sediment lab since winter 2015.

Julia J. Wallace

IMG_0337Julia majored in Oceanography and minored in Marine Biology and Spanish. She loves all things ocean and has taken many opportunities while at UW to explore many aspects of oceanography and loves going out to sea! She also works for the oceanography department as an undergraduate TA for the intro level classes. Currently she focuses on seafloor mapping work and is starting work on her senior thesis which will look at bathymetric changes in the subtidal connected to shoreline restoration work. In the lab, Julia works with Robin and is currently processing sediment samples from the tidal channels near Braganca, PA Brazil. Her work includes grain-size analysis, 210Pb prep, and some processing of the data in Matlab.