Environmental History of Estuarine Dissolved Oxygen Inferred from Trace-Metal Geochemistry and Organic Matter

Environmental history recorded in sediments can track estuarine water quality through the use of geochemical and biological proxies. I collected sediment cores from two locations in the Coos Bay Estuary, at South Slough and Haynes Inlet, spanning from ~1680 AD to the present. To address the historical water column oxygen in the estuary I measured geochemical proxies including organic matter, magnetic susceptibility, and redox-sensitive metals to calibrate against a detailed 15-year record of dissolved oxygen observations.

The Use of Omics for Disease Evaluation in the Brains of Marine Mammals

Marine mammals are top predators that are essential for the health and function of our oceans. These top predators are often affected by various factors that can be detrimental to their populations. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate undetermined causes of deaths and to better understand known diseases in marine mammals to mitigate future marine mammal mortality events.

Genetic Connectivity of Dungeness Crab (Cancer magister) in the California Current System and Puget Sound

Understanding connectivity among exploited populations is critical to their sustainable management and long-term viability. In the marine environment, estimates of connectivity often rely on the use of genetic markers, as dispersal primarily occurs during a planktonic larval phase which is difficult to track using direct methods. In this thesis, we investigated the population genetic structure of the most valuable commercially harvested species on the west coast of the United States, the Dungeness crab (Cancer magister).

Agent-based Tsunami Evacuation Model: Life Safety and Network Resilience

Natural disasters could result in unnecessary loss of life and disproportionate suffering to families and communities if evacuation plans are not in place or understood by the public. In the Pacific Northwest, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami from the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) represents one of the most pressing natural disasters with an astonishing high 7%-12% chance of occurrence by 2060. This thesis presents an agent-based multi-modal near-field tsunami evacuation modeling framework in Netlogo. The goals of this study are two folded.

Quantitative Tools for Monitoring Strategy Evaluation and Assessment of Sea Turtle Populations

Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, have endangered and threatened populations globally, but several populations show signs of population recovery. In Hawaii, nesting female green turtles have increased 5.7% year-1 since 1973, but wide fluctuations in census counts of nesting females make recovery diagnosis difficult.