Seminar Abstract

Antonio Baptista

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Estuaries and plumes: Old problems, new solutions with a PNW twist


Over the last decade, CORIE was developed as a multi-purpose, cross-scale coastal-margin observatory for the Columbia River estuary and plume. With observation, modeling and information sub-systems, CORIE focuses on physical properties and their ecosystem implications. CORIE products have opened the opportunity for innovative scientific and management thinking. For instance, collaboration among biologists and physical oceanographers led to the development and use of semi-empirical metrics of physical habitat opportunity for juvenile salmon in the estuary and plume environment. These metrics, built from multi-year databases of simulated circulation, have been used to address management and operational issues including salmon survival, navigation improvements, and flow regulation.

The CORIE infrastructure is now being used as one of the anchors for a pilot project of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS).  The pilot project is being conducted under the umbrella of the Northwest Association of Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), and as a focus on the estuaries and shorelines of Oregon and Washington.

A substantial part of the talk will focus on the development and application of CORIE as a multi-purpose tool to understand and manage the Columbia River, as its estuary and plume change in response to climate and anthropogenic forcing. Time permitting, we will also discuss some of the strategies and technical challenges of expanding the observation, modeling and information infrastructure of a powerful but narrowly focused and tightly-coordinated observatory (CORIE) to serve a much broader vision and region (Pacific Northwest), with a much more diverse user base, and a very heterogeneous scientific and development scientific team.

Speaker bio:

Dr. Antonio Baptista is Professor and Department Head for the Department of Environmental
and Biomolecular Systems at the OGI School of Science & Engineering, Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Baptista is also Director for the Center for Coastal and Land-Margin Research. Dr. Baptista's research interests include integrated understanding and prediction of hydrodynamic and environmental processes in estuaries and coasts and development of associated concepts and technologies: environmental observation and forecasting systems, numerical methods and models, physically-based ecological indicators.