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CEE 269B EnvEng Seminar-Megan Williams " Coastal dynamics in the Anthropocene: Integrated watershed-coastal processes on temperate Eastern Pacific coasts"

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Abstract: The integrated effects of watershed hydrology and coastal hydrodynamics are felt in wetlands, estuaries, deltas, and exposed coasts. Small watersheds with steep topography, common in California and Chile experience temporally variable watershed and oceanic forcing (e.g. seasonal precipitation, seasonally variable wave climate), which manifest as episodic events. Climate change, drought, and human population demands have resulted in anthropogenic alterations to hydrological cycles and coastal pressures (e.g. water diversions, construction of dikes, dredging). Analyzing the fundamental co-dependent watershed and oceanic factors that interact in a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, we aim to present an integrated perspective of current science with the aim to better inform climate and hazard planning.

Bio: Megan Williams is an Assistant Professor in a joint appointment between Hydraulic & Environmental Engineering and Biological Sciences at the Catholic University of Chile.  She is currently a Shimizu Visiting Assistant Professor in the Stanford University Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering through February 2024. Megan studies coastal processes, working on Mediterranean environments in both hemispheres. Her work focuses on the physics of estuaries, wetlands, fjords, and the coastal ocean, and the implications of climate change and extreme events on transport and mixing and ecological processes.