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Slicing Sediment Core From the Delaware River


Jacqueline McSweeney, a 2012 NSF Graduate Research Fellow awardee

Jacqueline McSweeney, a 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow (GRF), slices a sediment core from the Delaware River while onboard the R/V Hugh Sharp. The NSF GRF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. NSF fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching and innovations in science and engineering.

McSweeney is developing a comparative project to study sediment transport and the consequent effects on productivity in the Alvarado lagoon-estuary and the Delaware estuary, two radically different systems. This project will expand on work she began in 2010 that investigated how sediment transport and suspension in the highly eutrophied Delaware estuary serves as a light-limiting--and thus production-limiting--factor. Observation and modeling data has, so far, illustrated the importance of sediment in moderating productivity in the Delaware, and it would be valuable to evaluate whether this dynamic is critical in fundamentally different systems. Thus, McSweeney will be working to further develop a coupled sediment/bio-optical ROMS model to improve robustness and prepare for application in the Alvarado. Over the next few years, McSweeney will also be involved with observation and fieldwork in Veracruz, Mexico, to collect data for model verification. Collaboration with researchers at the University of Veracruz will be an important component of this project, and a secondary goal is to broaden interactions with the American and Mexican oceanographic communities. (Date of Image: 2012)

Credit: Jacqueline McSweeney,

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