What Are They Doing?
Coastal flooding events are becoming more common, as reductions in seasonal sea ice create large fetches for autumn storms. The proposed work concerns the oceanographic factors associated with coastal erosion and flooding, which are distinct from the geologic controls. Key among these oceanographic factors is the previously demonstrated increasing trend in surface wave activity throughout the western Arctic.
The results will determine: 1) The significance of coastal protection via scattering and dissipation of waves by sea ice 2) The thermodynamic and mechanical effects of increasing wave energy 3) The changes in coastal flooding and circulation associated with increasing wave momentum.
Where Are They?
R/V Sikuliaq will depart and return to Nome, AK. The Sikuliaq is a purpose built 261 foot research vessel. Sikuliaq, pronounced [see-KOO-lee-auk], is an Inupiaq name meaning "young sea ice" or "young sea ice that is safe to walk on".
Jim Thomson was raised on the coast of Maine and worked in the sailing industry there prior to beginning a career in physical oceanography. After completing a PhD in MIT's joint program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he joined the University of Washington's Applied Physics Lab in 2006. Dr. Thomson also has a joint appointment in the faculty of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Dr. Thomson studies waves and turbulence at the surface of the ocean, including interactions with sea ice. His work emphasizes field measurements and physical processes and includes the development of instrumentation and autonomous platforms.