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Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future (2012)

Chapter:Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×

Appendix F

Biographical Sketches of Committee Members

Robert A. Dalrymple, chair, is the Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests are in coastal engineering, water wave mechanics, high-performance computing, fluid mechanics, littoral processes, and tidal inlets. Dr. Dalrymple has chaired several National Research Council (NRC) committees, including the Committee on Review of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Program, and served on others including the Committee on Responding to Sea Level: Engineering Implications. He also has held leadership positions in professional societies including president of the Association of Coastal Engineers, president of the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE’s) Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute, and chair of the Coastal Engineering Research Council. Dr. Dalrymple is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a recipient of ASCE’s International Coastal Engineering Award for his achievements and contributions to the advancement of coastal engineering through research, teaching, and professional leadership. He received a B.A. in engineering sciences from Dartmouth College, an M.S. in ocean engineering from the University of Hawai’i, and a Ph.D. in civil and coastal engineering from the University of Florida.

Laurence C. Breaker is an adjunct professor at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories at San Jose State University. Prior to joining the laboratory in 2001, he spent 13 years as a senior research physical scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Centers for Environmental Prediction. Dr. Breaker’s research focuses on the analysis of long-term observations of sea-level rise along the California coast, modeling of both global and local sea-level rise, physical oceanography, and satellite remote sensing. His recent papers have examined the 154-year record of monthly sea level at San Francisco and sea-level responses to large earthquakes in California and Alaska. Dr. Breaker was awarded NOAA’s Bronze Medal for major contributions to the Coastal Marine Demonstration Project, which tested the state of the art in marine forecasting and evaluated the potential benefits of experimental higher resolution predictions. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University, an M.S. in applied marine physics from the University of Miami, and a Ph.D. in oceanography (minor in meteorology) from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Benjamin A. Brooks is an associate researcher (tenured) and director of the Pacific GPS Facility in the Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at the University of Hawai’i. His research interests are in tectonic geodesy and active tectonics with a recent focus on relative sea-level change as a result of subsidence in the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Delta. Dr. Brooks is a member of the advisory committee for the Plate Boundary Observatory, which collects geodetic data on active deformation across the western United States. He is a Fulbright Fellow. He received a B.S. in earth science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Cornell University.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×

Daniel R. Cayan is a research meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and is also a researcher in the U.S. Geological Survey. His work is directed at understanding climate variability and changes over the Pacific Ocean and North America and climate impacts on water, wildfire, health, and agriculture in California and western North America. Among his recent publications are projections of sea-level extremes along the California coast. Dr. Cayan heads two climate research programs aimed at improving climate information and forecasts for decision makers in the California region: the California Nevada Applications Program and the California Climate Change Center. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He received a B.S. in meteorology and oceanography from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of California, San Diego.

Gary B. Griggs is a distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences and the director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research is focused on the coastal zone and ranges from coastal evolution and development to shoreline processes—including the evaluation of long-term shoreline changes and geomorphic evolution of coastlines—to coastal hazards and coastal engineering. Dr. Griggs is the author or coauthor of several books, including Living with the Changing California Coast and Introduction to California’s Beaches and Coast. He served as chair of the University of California Marine Council from 1999 to 2009 and is a current member and past chair of the science advisory team to the Governor’s Ocean Protection Council. He is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. He received a B.A. in geological sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph.D. in oceanography from Oregon State University.

Weiqing Han is an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado. Her research interests are in sea level, ocean circulation and dynamics, air-sea interaction, and climate variability and change. Among her recent work is an analysis of patterns of sea-level change in the Indian Ocean and the influence of North Atlantic circulation on glacial sea-level changes. Dr. Han serves on a panel of the World Climate Research Programme Climate Variability and Predictability project, and she is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER Award. She received a B.S. in meteorology from the Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, an M.S. in meteorology from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, and a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center.

Benjamin P. Horton is an associate professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on mechanisms of sea-level changes, including climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the coastal sedimentary budget. He also has examined the response of estuaries to sea-level rise. He aims to bridge the gap between instrumental and geological observations of sea-level change. Dr. Horton has worked on sea-level rise in several countries; his U.S. work has focused on the contributions of eustacy and isostacy along the Atlantic coast and earthquakes and ground deformation along the west coast. He is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, a member of the steering committee of PALSEA (PALeo-constraints on SEA-level rise), and the project leader of the International Geoscience Programme’s Preparing for Coastal Change. He received a B.A. in geography from the University of Liverpool and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Durham.

Christina L. Hulbe is a professor and chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University. Her research focuses on understanding and modeling the dynamics of ice sheets, the interactions between ice shelves and ice sheets, and on the role of ice sheets in climate change. New work now under way involves the uncertainty associated with poorly known boundary conditions in mathematical models of ice sheets. Dr. Hulbe is a representative of the NRC’s Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and co-chairs the local organizing committee for the 2012 SCAR Open Science Conference. She received a B.S. in geological engineering from Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology, an M.S. in geology from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×

James C. McWilliams is Louis B. Slichter Professor of Earth Sciences in the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also is a senior research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His research interests are in theory and computational modeling of Earth’s ocean and atmosphere. In addition to his work in fluid dynamics, he developed a three-dimensional simulation model of the U.S. west coast that incorporates physical oceanographic, biogeochemical, and sediment transport aspects of the coastal circulation and is being used to interpret coastal phenomena, diagnose historical variability in relation to observational data, and assess future possibilities. Dr. McWilliams has served on many NRC climate committees, including the Committee on Science of Climate Change. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received a B.S. in applied mathematics from Caltech and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Harvard.

Philip W. Mote is a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. He also is the director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute for the Oregon University System. Before joining Oregon State University, he was a research scientist at the University of Washington and the state climatologist for Washington. Dr. Mote’s research interests include climate variability and change in the Pacific Northwest; regional climate modeling; mountain snowpack and its response to climate variability and change; sea-level rise; impacts of climate change on water resources, forests, and shore-lands; and adaptation to climate change. Among his publications in these areas is an analysis of sea-level rise in the coastal waters of Washington state. Dr. Mote has served on several committees associated with climate change and sea-level rise, including the NRC Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change and the IPCC. He received a B.A. in physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the University of Washington.

William Tad Pfeffer is a professor of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering at the University of Colorado. He also is a fellow of the university’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. Dr. Pfeffer’s research interests are in modern glacier physics, including ice mechanics and glacier dynamics, heat and mass transfer in snow and ice, atmosphere/glacier and ocean/glacier interactions, and the application of the results to estimates of future sea-level change. He is a member of the executive committee of the American Geophysical Union’s Cryospheric Sciences Focus Group. He received a B.A. in geology from the University of Vermont, an M.A. in geology from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Washington.

Denise Reed is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans. Her research interests include coastal marsh response to sea-level rise and how this is affected by human activities. She has worked on coastal issues on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts of the United States, as well as other parts of the world, and also is involved in ecosystem restoration planning both in Louisiana and in California. Dr. Reed has served on numerous boards and panels concerning coastal environments and ecosystem restoration, including NRC committees on water and environmental management in the California Bay Delta and on mitigating shore erosion, the Corps of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board, the NOAA Science Advisory Board’s Ecosystems Sciences and Management Working Group, the National Science Panel for South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration, and the Strategic Science Review Panel for the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Program. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

C.K. Shum is a professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Division of Geodetic Science, School of Earth Sciences, at the Ohio State University. His research focuses on the accurate measurement of present-day sea-level rise and the improved understanding of the geophysical causes of this rise. He also works on satellite geodesy, temporal gravity field and tide modeling, satellite oceanography, hydrology and geodynamics, ice mass balance, precision satellite orbit determination, GPS meteorology, and space physics. Dr. Shum was a lead author of the chapter on observations of oceanic climate change and sea level in

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×

the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. He is a fellow of the International Association of Geodesy and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a recipient of the European Geosciences Union’s Vening Meinesz Medal for distinguished research in geodesy, and of several NASA awards for his work on the TOPEX/POSEIDON and GRACE missions. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas, Austin.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×
Page197
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×
Page198
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×
Page199
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Biographical Sketches of Committee Members." National Research Council. 2012. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13389.
×
Page200
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Tide gauges show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data show that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because ocean water expands as it warms; and water from melting glaciers and ice sheets is flowing into the ocean. Sea-level rise poses enormous risks to the valuable infrastructure, development, and wetlands that line much of the 1,600 mile shoreline of California, Oregon, and Washington. As those states seek to incorporate projections of sea-level rise into coastal planning, they asked the National Research Council to make independent projections of sea-level rise along their coasts for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100, taking into account regional factors that affect sea level.

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future explains that sea level along the U.S. west coast is affected by a number of factors. These include: climate patterns such as the El Nino, effects from the melting of modern and ancient ice sheets, and geologic processes, such as plate tectonics. Regional projections for California, Oregon, and Washington show a sharp distinction at Cape Mendocino in northern California. South of that point, sea-level rise is expected to be very close to global projections. However, projections are lower north of Cape Mendocino because the land is being pushed upward as the ocean plate moves under the continental plate along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, an earthquake magnitude 8 or larger, which occurs in the region every few hundred to 1,000 years, would cause the land to drop and sea level to suddenly rise.

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