Research interests: Coastal Oceanography
Together with many collaborators, I am examining the tidal and subtidal-frequency variations of water velocity and temperature on the inner continental shelves of California's Channel Islands and along the mainland in the Santa Barbara Basin, and how those patterns relate to the delivery of larval fish and invertebrates.
Summertime cycles of large-scale coastal upwelling and upwelling relaxation are driven by winds and pressure gradients along the entire West Coast of North America from Washington to Baja California in Mexico. We are characterizing the regional and inner-shelf manifestations of the upwelling/relaxation cycle in the Santa Barbara Basin, especially around the Channel Islands and near Point Conception. Little is known about the inner-shelf circulation around the Channel Islands, and the Islands are a particularly important region to understand due to the recent designation of marine reserves in the area. We are also determining the importance of coastal-trapped waves driven by winds in Baja California for determining inner-shelf circulation and water temperature in the Santa Barbara Channel.
In these projects, we use a combination of data from satellites (wind stress, sea-surface temperature, altimetry, and ocean color), high-frequency radar systems (ocean surface currents), surface buoys (wind, air temperature, and wave height and period), and subsurface moorings (water velocity, temperature, salinity, and bottom pressure).