Dan Nowacki

I’m an oceanographer, currently with the U.S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. I received my Ph.D. from the School of Oceanography (Sediment Dynamics Group) at the University of Washington in Seattle. My M.S.E. is in Civil & Environmental Engineering (UW-EFM), also from the UW. Previously, I was a hydrologist at the USGS’s National Research Program in Reston, VA. Born and raised in the state of Maine, I moved to Seattle in 2008 and, later, to Woods Hole in 2015.


Generally, I am interested in the sediment transport and morphology of coastal and riverine systems. I’m currently involved with studies in Chincoteague Bay, MD/VA; the Mekong River, Vietnam; and the Amazon River, Brazil. Past study sites include Willapa Bay, Washington, the Columbia River, Washington, and the Florida Everglades. I’ve also been part of studies on the New Zealand continental shelf and other interesting places around the world.

Right now I’m conducting field research on the Amazon and Mekong tidal rivers with others from the UW along with international collaborators. We’re looking at the sediment-transport processes that take place in these freshwater, but tidally influenced, river reaches. A combination of estuarine and riverine processes is likely taking place here, and my research seeks to quantify these phenomena and how they change with tidal range and seasonal river discharge levels. Read on for more information about tidal rivers.

In addition to these active field programs, I’m trying my hand at numerical modeling. Using the modeling environment Delft3D, my goal is to simulate numerically some of the phenomena that I observed with instrumentation deployed on the muddy tidal flats of Willapa Bay, Washington. Modeling results should help to give insight to the velocity and suspended-sediment patterns in our observational data set. Read on for more modeling information.


Most of my data analysis time is spent in MATLAB, though I’m using Python more and more. A few snippets that you might find useful are available on my codes page.


My C.V. is available here (updated April 2017); feel free to email me at dan @ this domain.

Google Scholar profile

photo of djn

DJN at Tan Son Nhat customs,
Saigon, Vietnam