Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Tides and Eddies of Puget Sound

the second installment of The Future of Oceans Lecture Series

with generous support by the Darrow Family

Sunday, November 2 @ 3pm
Fort Worden Chapel

$10 admission ($5 PTMSC members)

November’s lecturer, Parker MacCready, is Professor of Oceanography in the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. He has worked for the past 15 years studying tidal currents and general circulation of Pacific Ocean waters, including a number of projects in Puget Sound and the San Juans. His work combines detailed field studies with realistic computer models, trying to discover the processes that turn the energy of tides, winds, and rivers into the circulation patterns that control the biological productivity of the Puget Sound estuary.

In this talk he will explore the tides in Puget Sound, from their astronomical origin to the the extraordinary fronts and eddies so apparent to boaters. This then leads to consideration of the turbulent mixing these eddies cause, and how they drive a large, persistent current of deep Pacific water though the Sound. It is this circulation, many times greater than that of all our rivers, that brings nutrients which feed the abundant growth of phytoplankton in our waters.

MacCready began his exploration of moving fluids with human-powered vehicles. His research career was stimulated when his father, Paul MacCready, created the first human powered aircraft, the Gossamer Condor. As a teenager, Parker MacCready was one of its first cyclist/test pilots. Their second aircraft, the 70 lb. Gossamer Albatross, hangs in Boeing’s Museum of Flight, in Seattle: this was the first human powered vehicle to cross the 22-mile wide English Channel, on June 12, 1979. At California Institute of Technology, the younger MacCready built a human powered hydrofoil craft, the ‘Pogofoil’, for his Master of Science degree. He then completed his Ph.D. research at University of Washington, producing a new theory of the circulation of the deepest layers of the ocean, which overturned traditional ideas about the way the ocean interacts with its coasts and bottom.


The Future of Oceans Lecture Series: With more than seven-tenths of the planet’s surface covered in salt water, the future health of our oceans is critical. Join the PTMSC for a series of five lectures on The Future of Oceans the first Sunday of every month, from October through March, (except January due to holidays) to learn about topics such as El NiƱo, the tides and eddies in Puget Sound, what’s beneath the Salish Sea, Arctic images, and ocean acidification. All lectures are at Fort Worden and the series is provided by the generous support of the Darrow family.

see the poster here.

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