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Spotlight on Sandy

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellow Joins Hurricane Sandy Estuarine Physical Response Project



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In March 2015, Dan Nowacki joined the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dan is a Mendenhall Research Fellow working primarily with USGS research oceanographer Neil Ganju as part of the Estuarine Physical Response to Storms project. He is developing techniques to quantify the role of vegetation in the response and resilience of coastal areas to large storm events. Using a combination of numerical modeling techniques and field measurements, he will work to better understand how a variety of vegetation types modify waves and associated sediment-transport processes. Although coastal vegetation is generally thought to mitigate wave action and storm surge, the specific dynamics of the interaction remain poorly known; this work could ultimately help coastal planners understand the role of natural ecosystems in storm protection.

Daniel Nowacki deploying instruments in extremely soupy mud south of the Amazon River mouth
Above: Daniel Nowacki deploying instruments in extremely soupy mud south of the Amazon River mouth near Bragança, Brazil. Photograph by Aaron Fricke, University of Washington. [larger version]

Originally hailing from Maine, Dan comes most recently from the University of Washington, where he earned a Ph.D. in oceanography and an M.S.E. (Master of Science in Engineering) in civil and environmental engineering. His doctoral thesis research focused on sediment-transport processes in a number of diverse environments and brought him to the muddy tidal flats of the Pacific Northwest; the vegetated tidal floodplains of the tidal Amazon River, Brazil; and the tidal distributaries of the Mekong River, Vietnam. Prior to his graduate career, after earning his undergraduate degree at Syracuse University, Dan was a hydrologist with the USGS National Research Program in Reston, Virginia, studying surface-water flows in the Florida Everglades.


Related Sound Waves Stories
New Personnel Contribute to USGS Studies of How Estuaries Respond to Storms
May / June 2014
Recent Hires Assist USGS Studies of Barrier Island and Estuarine Responses to Hurricane Sandy
March / April 2014
USGS Joins the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Resilience Institute
November / December 2014

Related Websites
Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program
USGS
Estuarine Physical Response to Storms
USGS

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in this issue:

Fieldwork
Scientists Investigate the Virtually Unexplored Mariana Trench

Expedition Explores Deep-Sea Areas near Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Imaging Methane Seeps and Plumes on the U.S. Atlantic Margin

Research
Some Communities May Not Have Time for Tsunami Evacuation

Spotlight on Sandy
Mendenhall Postdoc Joins Hurricane Sandy Estuarine Physical Response Project

Meetings
Spring 2015 Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group Meeting

Awards
Amanda Demopoulos Receives USGS Leadership Award

Fran Lightsom Receives Leadership and Innovation Award for Data Integration

Jim Hein Receives DOI Distinguished Service Award

Jim Jacobi Receives DOI Distinguished Service Award

Staff
Cheryl Hapke Is New Director of St. Petersburg, Florida, Science Center

Publications New Maps Reveal Seafloor off San Francisco

March–June Publications

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