Patricia L. Wiberg

Professor · Ph.D., University of Washington, 1987

Contact Information

My primary research interest is in sediment erosion, transport, and deposition in river, coastal, and wetland environments. Current research topics include storm-driven transport and the formation of sedimentary strata on the continental shelf, erosion and deposition on tidal salt marshes, flow-sediment-vegetation interactions in shallow coastal bays, mud dynamics in meso- and macro-tidal flats, wave-formed ripples, impact of climate change on barrier-bay-marsh morphology, and sediment associated contaminant transport.

Recent Publications


Physical Hydrology (EVSC 3600)

This course examines the physical principles governing the flow of water on and beneath the earth's surface, including fundamental concepts of fluid dynamics applied to the description of open channel hydraulics, ground water hydraulics, and dynamics of soil moisture. Introduces elements of surface water and ground water hydrology and explores humanity's influence on its hydrological environment.  Prerequisite: One semester of calculus.

Coastal Oceanography (EVSC 5060)

An interdisciplinary course covering physical, ecological and biogeochemical processes occurring along coastlines and within coastal ecosystems.  Co-taught with Karen McGlathery and Matt Reidenbach.

Sediment processes and environments with lab (EVGE 5840/5841)

This course investigates erosion, transport, and deposition of sediment; initial motion, bedload and suspended load transport,  bedforms, cohesive sediment; and important sediment-transporting environments (rivers, deserts, coasts).   Sediment-transport-related problems of geological and environmental interest are considered.  Prerequisite: one year of calculus and physics, or instructor permission; corequisite: EVGE 5841.

Environmental fluid mechanics and lab (EVHY 5670)

This course examines the mechanics of fluids and fluid-related processes occurring at the Earth's surface, including laminar, inviscid, and turbulent flows, drag, boundary layers, diffusion and dispersion of mass, flow through porous media, and effects of the Earth's rotation. River, atmospheric boundary layer and coastal environments are considered.   Topics, including current research, related to the environmental sciences are emphasized.  Prerequisite: Integral calculus and calculus-based physics, or instructor permission.

Numerical methods in hydrology (EVHY 7670)

This course is a one-semester introduction to numerical methods with application to the solution of hydrological problems.  Matlab computational and plotting software is used for all examples and assignments, including finite difference and finite element solutions to equations describing the flow of water and transport of contaminants in the terrestrial environment. Prior knowledge of Matlab is not required.  Prerequisite: EVHY 5000-level course.

Graduate Students

Amy Ferguson (M.S.)