Northern Neck Master Naturalists
Trained & Certified Virgina Master Naturalists


Northern Neck Master naturalists

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Presentation: Waves, Tides, and Currents: What's Pushing the Waters Around in Virginia


Dr. Courtney Harris - Professor of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) - is the speaker at the 13 Nov 2018 General Membership Meeting of the Northern Neck Master Naturalists. The General Membership Meeting begins at 1:15PM at the Northumberland Public Library in Heathsville, VA. The featured presentation will commence at 1:30PM.

The meeting is open to the public.

Her topic is "Waves, Tides, and Currents: What's Pushing the Waters Around in Virginia.” The presentation is about the physical and geological “geography” of Chesapeake Bay and how waves, tides, and currents play an important role in defining the coastal regions of Virginia. The presentation addresses the major descriptive characteristics of our coastal waters. Among the concepts are the geological characteristics of the ocean and bay floor and the physical characteristics of the ocean, bay and river waters in Coastal Virginia.

Dr. Harris’s research has included work to understand sediment transport in continental shelves and estuarine environments as well as to quantify sediment processes within the northern Gulf of Mexico, including how suspended sediments impact the dispersal of oil

"Professor Harris is widely recognized for her expertise in computer modeling of sediment transport. The ability to simulate the behavior and fate of marine sediments is crucial to better understanding and predicting ocean pollution, the development of low-oxygen dead zones, the impacts of hurricanes and other intense storms, and shoreline erosion.

Harris has participated in several large experiments involving collaboration with oceanographers and geologists from around the world. These have provided a research focus on numerically modeling the transport of suspended sediments both within estuaries like Chesapeake Bay and on continental shelves.

Harris was a U.S. Geological Service Postdoctoral Fellow from 1998 to 2001 and has authored more than 20 articles for peer-reviewed journals. At VIMS, she has helped develop two of the mainstay courses for graduate students within the Department of Physical Sciences, and also demonstrated excellence in mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.” Excerpt from VIMS News Release May 7, 2012 discussing the recipients of Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, College of William and Mary

Dr. Harris has a B.S., University of Virginia, M.S., University of California, Berkeley, and M.S., Ph.D., from the University of Virginia.

Faculty and Student Awards include:

  • 2012 Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, College of William and Mary

  • 2007 – 2010 Alumni Memorial Term Distinguished Associate Professor, College of William and Mary

  • 1998 – 2001 U.S.G.S. Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • 1996 NASA Global Climate Change Fellow

  • 1995 Governor's Fellowship, University of Virginia

  • 1990 - 1992 Dupont Fellowship, University of Virginia

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is one of the sponsoring agencies for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Master Naturalist Program.