Libe Washburn

Department of Geography and Institute for Computational Earth System Science

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4060

office: (805)-893-7367

lab: (805)-893-8480

fax: (805)-893-8062



B.S Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona, May 1974

M.S. Engineering Science, University of California at San Diego, Sept. 1978

Ph.D. Engineering Science, University of California at San Diego, Oct. 1982

Positions Held

1998 – present Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

1993 - 1998 Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

1991 - 1993 Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

1985 - 1990 Research Assistant Professor of Physical Oceanography, Center for Earth Sciences,

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

1982 - 1985 Postgraduate Research Oceanographer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

1977 - 1982 Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Applied Mechanics and Engineering

Sciences, University of California, San Diego, CA

1975 - 1977 Aeroballistics Engineer, General Dynamics, Convair Division, San Diego, CA

Research Interests:

Physical-biological interactions

Coastal circulation

Mesoscale ocean dynamics

Buoyancy-driven flows

Turbulence and mixing processes

Marine pollution

Professional Societies:

American Geophysical Union

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary

American Meteorological Society

American Association for the advancement of Science

The Oceanography Society

Alliance for Marine Remote Sensing


Woodson, C.B., M.A. McManus, J.A. Tyburczy, , J.A. Barth, L. Washburn, J.E. Caselle, M.H. Carr, D.P. Malone, P.T. Raimondi, B. Menge, and S.R. Palumbi, 2012, Coastal fronts set recruitment and connectivity patterns across multiple taxa Limnol. Oceanogr., 57, 2, 582-596, doi:10.4319/lo.2012.57.2.0582.

Washburn, L., M.R. Fewings, C. Melton, and C. Gotschalk, 2011, The propagating response of coastal circulation due to wind relaxations along the central California coast, J. Geophys. Res., 116, C12028, doi:10.1029/2011JC007502.

Brzezinski, M.A., and L. Washburn, 2011, Phytoplankton primary productivity in the Santa Barbara Channel: Effects of wind-driven upwelling and mesoscale eddies, J. Geophys. Res.,116, C12013, doi:10.1029/2011JC007397.

Bradley, E. S., I. Leifer, D. A. Roberts, P. E. Dennison, and L. Washburn (2011), Detection of marine methane emissions with AVIRIS band ratios, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L10702, doi:10.1029/2011GL046729.

Woodson C.B., J.A. Barth, O.M. Cheriton, M.A. McManus, J.P. Ryan, L. Washburn, and the 2008 Summer Oceanography Group, 2011, Geophys Res Let, 38, L01605, doi: 10.1029/2010GL045453.Limnol. Oceanogr., 57, 2, 582-596, doi:10.4319/lo.2012.57.2.0582.

Mislan, K.A.S., C.A. Blanchette, B.R. Broitman, L. Washburn, 2011, Spatial variability of emergence, splash, surge, and submergence in wave-exposed rocky-shore ecosystems, Limnol. Oceanogr., 56(3), 2011, 857–866, doi:10.4319/lo.2011.56.3.0857.

Kim, S. Y., E. J. Terrill, B. D. Cornuelle, B. Jones, L. Washburn, M. A. Moline, J. D. Paduan, N. Garfield, J. L. Largier, G. Crawford, and P. M. Kosro, 2011, Mapping the U.S. West Coast surface circulation: A multiyear analysis of high-frequency radar observations, J. Geophys. Res., 116, C03011, 15 pp, doi:10.1029/2010JC006669.

Nishimoto, M.M., L. Washburn, R.R. Warner, M.S. Love, G.L. Paradis, 2010, Otolith elemental signatures reflect residency in coastal water masses, Environmental Biology of Fishes, 89, 341-356, doi: 10.1007/s10641-010-9698-6.

Nencioli, F., C. Dong, T.D. Dickey, L. Washburn, J. McWilliams, 2010, A vector geometry based eddy detection algorithm and its application to high-resolution numerical model products and high-frequency radar surface velocities in the Southern California Bight, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 27, 3, doi: 10.1175/2009JTECHO725.1.

Fountain, T., Sameer Tilak, Peter Shin, Sally Holbrook, Russell J. Schmitt, Andrew Brooks, Libe Washburn, David Salazar, 2009, Digital Moorea cyberinfrastructure for coral reef monitoring, Fifth International Conference Series on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing (ISSNIP), 7-10 December 2009, Melbourne, Australia.

Clark, J.F., L. Washburn, K. Emery, 2009, Variability of gas composition and flux intensity in natural marine hydrocarbon seeps, Geo-Marine Letters, doi: 10.1007/s00367-009-0167-1.

Woodson, C.B.1, L. Washburn, J.A. Barth, D.J. Hoover, A.R. Kirincich, M.A. McManus, J. P. Ryan, J. Tyburczy, 2009, Northern Monterey Bay upwelling shadow front: Observations of a coastally and surface-trapped buoyant plume, J. Geophys. Res., Oceans, 114, C12013, doi:10.1029/2009JC005623.

Melton, C., L. Washburn, and C. Gotschalk, 2009, Wind relaxations and poleward flow events in a coastal upwelling system on the central California coast, J. Geophys. Res., Oceans, 114, C11016, doi:10.1029/2009JC005397.

Farwell, C., C.M. Reddy, E. Peacock, R.K. Nelson, L. Washburn, and D.L. Valentine, 2009, Weathering and the fallout plume of heavy oil from strong petroleum seeps near coal oil point, Environ. Sci. Technol., 43, 3542-3548, doi :10.1021/es802586g.

Woodson, C.B., D.I. Eerkes-Medrano, A. Flores-Morales, M.M. Foley, S.K. Henkel, M. Hessing-Lewis, D. Jacinto, L. Needles, M.T. Nishizaki, J. O’Leary, C.E. Ostrander, M. Pespeni, K.B. Schwager, J.A. Tyburczy, K.A. Weersing, A.R. Kirincich, J.A. Barth, M.A. McManus, L. Washburn, 2007, Local diurnal upwelling driven by sea breezes in northern Monterey Bay, Continental Shelf Research 27 (2007) 2289–2302, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2007.05.014.

Washburn, L., 2007, Coastal Currents, In Encyclopedia of Tide Pools and Rocky Shores, M. Denny and S. Gaines, Eds.

Warrick, J.A., J.A., P.M. DiGiacomo, S.B. Weisberg, N.P. Nezlin, M. Mengeld,B.H. Jones, J.C. Ohlmann, L. Washburn, E.J. Terrill, K.L. Farnsworth, 2007, River plume patterns and dynamics within the Southern California Bight, Continental Shelf Research, 27, 2427–2448, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2007.06.015.

Mau, S., D. L. Valentine, J. F. Clark, J. Reed, R. Camilli, and L. Washburn, 2007, Dissolved methane distributions and air-sea flux in the plume of a massive seep field, Coal Oil Point, California, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L22603, doi:10.1029/2007GL031344.

McPhee-Shaw, E.E., D.A. Siegel, L. Washburn, M.A. Brzezinski, J.L. Jones, A. Leydecker, and J. Melack, 2007, Mechanisms for nutrient delivery to the inner shelf: Observations from the Santa Barbara Channel, 52(5), 1748–1766

Barth, J.A., B A. Menge, J. Lubchenco, F. Chan, J. M. Bane, A. R. Kirincich, M.A. McManus, K.J. Nielsen, S. D. Pierce, and L. Washburn, 2007, Delayed upwelling alters nearshore coastal ocean ecosystems in the northern California current, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 104, 10, 3719–3724, doi:10.1073/pnas.0700462104.

Ohlmann, C., P. White, L. Washburn, E. Terrill, B.M. Emery, and M. Otero, 2007, Interpretation of coastal HF radar derived surface currents with high resolution drifter data, J. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Tech., 24, 4, 666–680.

Anderson, C.R., M.A. Brzezinski, L. Washburn, and R. Kudela, 2006, Circulation and environmental conditions during a toxigenic Pseudo-nitzschia australis bloom in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 327, 119-133.

Emery, B.M., L. Washburn, M. Love, M. M. Nishimoto, J.C. Ohlmann, 2006, Do oil and gas platforms off California reduce recruitment of bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis) to natural habitat? An analysis based on trajectories derived from high frequency radar, Fish. Bull., 104,391-400.

Reed, D.C. , B.P. Kinlan, P.T. Raimondi, L. Washburn, B. Gaylord, and P.T. Drake, 2006, “A metapopulation perspective on the patch dynamics of giant kelp in Southern California”, Marine Metapopulations, J.P. Kritzer and P.F. Sale, eds., 353-386,2006.

Cudaback, C., L. Washburn, and E.P. Dever, 2005, Inner-shelf circulation near Pt. Conception California, J. Geophys. Res., 110, C10007, doi:10.1029/2004JC002608.

Bassin, C.J., L. Washburn, M.A. Brzezinski, and E.E. McPhee-Shaw, 2005, Sub-mesoscale coastal eddies observed by high frequency radar: A new mechanism for delivering nutrients to kelp forests in the Southern California Bight, Geophys. Res. Let., 32, L12604, doi:10.1029/2005GL023017.

Washburn, L., Jordan F. Clark, and P. Kyriakidis, 2005, The spatial scales, distribution, and intensity of natural marine hydrocarbon seeps near Coal Oil Point, California, Marine and Petroleum Geology, 22, 569–578.

Warrick, J.A., L. Washburn, M.A. Brzezinski, D.A. Siegel, 2005, Nutrient contributions to the Santa Barbara Channel, California, from the ephemeral Santa Clara River, Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science, 62, 559-574.

Gaylord, B., D.C. Reed, L. Washburn, and P.T. Raimondi. 2004. Physical-biological coupling in spore dispersal of kelp forest macroalgae. Journal of Marine Systems 49: 19-39.

DiGiacomo, P.M., L. Washburn, B. Holt, and B.H. Jones, 2004, “Coastal pollution hazards in Southern California observed by SAR imagery: Stormwater plumes, wastewater plumes, and natural hydrocarbon seeps”, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 49, 1013-1024.

Raimondi, P.T., D.C. Reed, B. Gaylord, and L. Washburn. 2004. Effects of self-fertilization in the giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. Ecology 85: 3267-3276.

Emery B.M., L. Washburn, and J.A. Harlan, 2004, “Evaluating Radial Current Measurements from CODAR High-Frequency Radars with Moored Current Meters," Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 21, 8, 1259-1271.

Warrick, J.A., Mertes, L.A.K., Washburn L., and Siegel, D.A, 2004,“A conceptual model for river plume dispersal and forcing in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, based on field and remote sensing observations”, Continental Shelf Research, 24, 2029-2043.

Beckenbach, E.H., and L. Washburn 2004, “Low frequency waves in the Santa Barbara Channel observed by high frequency radar”, J. Geophys. Res., 109, doi:10.1029/2003JC00199.

Warrick J.A., L.A.K. Mertes, L. Washburn, and D.A. Siegel, 2004, Dispersal forcing of southern California river plumes, based on field and remote sensing observations, Geo-Marine Letters, 24, 46-52, doi 10.1007/s00367-003-0163-9.

Clark, J. F., I. Leifer, L. Washburn, and B. P. Luyendyk, 2003, Compositional changes in natural gas bubble plumes: Observations from the Coal Oil Point marine hydrocarbon seep field, Geo-Marine Letters, 23, 187-193.

Margaret McManus, M., J.L. Largier, E. Palomino, L. Wilkinson, and L. Washburn, 2003, Data Management Techniques for NEOCO: The Network for Environmental Observations of the Coastal Ocean, Sea Technology, August, 54-60

Bay, S., B. H. Jones, K. Schiff, and L. Washburn, 2003, “Water Quality Impacts of Stormwater Discharges to Santa Monica Bay”, Marine Environmental Research, 56, 202-223.

Washburn, L., K. A. McClure, B. H. Jones, and S. M. Bay, 2003, Spatial Scales and Evolution of Stormwater Plumes in Santa Monica Bay, Marine Environmental Research, 56, 103-125.

Emery, B.M., L. Washburn, and J.A. Harlan, 2003, Evaluating radial component current measurements from CODAR high frequency radars and moored in situ current meters, Proceedings of the First International Radiowave Oceanography Workshop, Timberline Lodge, OR, 9-12 April.

Washburn, L., E. H. Beckenbach, B. M. Emery, and J.A. Harlan, 2003, HF radar observations of surface currents in the vicinity of Pt. Conception California, Proceedings of the First International Radiowave Oceanography Workshop, Timberline Lodge, OR, 9-12 April.

Nishimoto, M.M., and L. Washburn, 2002, Patterns of coastal eddy circulation and abundance of pelagic juvenile
 fish in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, USA, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 241, 183-199.

Gaylord B., D. Reed., P. Raimondi, L. Washburn, and S. McLean, 2002, A physically based model of macroalgal spore dispersal in the wave and current-dominated nearshore, Ecology, 83(5), 1239-1251.

Boles, J.R., J.F. Clark, I. Leifer, and L. Washburn, 2001, Temporal variations in natural hydrocarbon seep rate due to tides, Coal Oil Point area, California, J. Geophys. Res. Vol. 106 , No. C11 , p. 27,077-27,087.

Washburn L., C. Johnson, C.G. Gotschalk, and E.T. Egland, A gas-capture buoy for measuring bubbling gas flux in oceans and lakes, 2001, J. Atmos. and Oceanic Tech., 18, 1411 – 1420.

Washburn, L., B.M. Emery, and J.D. Paduan, 2000, The surface circulation of the Santa Barbara Channel as observed with high frequency radar, Proceedings of the fifth California Islands Symposium, 29 March – 1 April, 1999, Santa Barbara, CA, published on CD-ROM.

Clark, J.F., L. Washburn, J.S. Hornafius, and B.P. Luyendyk, 2000, Dissolved hydrocarbon flux from natural marine seeps to the Southern Califronia Bight, Santa Barbara, California, J. Geophys. Res., 105, C5, 11,509-11,522.

Quigley, D.C., J.S. Hornafius, B.P. Luyendyk, R.D. Francis, J.F. Clark, and L. Washburn Decrease in natural marine hydrocarbon seepage near Coal Oil Point, California, associated with offshore oil production Geology, 27, 11, 1047-1050

Washburn, L., S. Stone, and S. MacIntyre, 1999, Dispersion of a produced water plume in a shallow coastal environment: implications for biological effects, J. Cont. Shelf. Res, 19, 57-78.

Washburn, L., B.M. Emery, B.H. Jones, and D.G. Ondercin, 1998, Eddy stirring and phytoplankton patchiness in the Subarctic North Atlantic in Late Summer, Deep-Sea Res. I, 45, 1411-1439.

Ohlmann, J.C., D.A. Siegel, and L. Washburn, 1998, Radiant heating of the western equatorial Pacific during TOGA-COARE, J. Geophys. Res., 103, C3, 5379-5395.

30 Pinkel, R., M. Merrifield, M. McPhaden, J. Picaut, S. Rutledge, D. Siegel, and L. Washburn, 1997, Solitary waves in the western Equatorial Pacific Ocean, Geophy. Res. Let., 24, 13, 1603-1606.

Jones, B.H., L. Washburn, S. Bay, and K. Schiff, 1997, Stormwater runoff into Santa Monica Bay: Identification, impact, and dispersion, Conf. Proc., California and the World Ocean ’97, 24-27 March 1997, San Diego, CA.

Washburn, L., and B.H. Jones, 1996, Field Observations and Modeling of Dispersion Processes around Ocean Outfalls, Oceans 96 MTS/IEEE, Conf. Proc., (published on CD-ROM) 23-26 September, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Washburn, L., T. Duda, D. Jacobs, 1996, Interpreting conductivity microstructure: estimation of the temperature variance dissipation , J. Atmospheric and Oceanic Tech., 13, 6, 1166-1188.

Siegel, D.A., J.C. Ohlmann, L. Washburn, R.R. Bidigare, C.T. Nosse, and Y.Zhou, 1995, Solar radiation, phytoplankton pigments and the radiant heating of the equatorial Pacific Warm Pool, J. Geophys. Res., 100, c3, 4885-4891.

Wu, Y., L. Washburn, and B.H. Jones, 1994, Buoyant plume dispersion in a coastal environment: Observations of plume structure and dynamics, J. Continental Shelf Res., 14,9, 1001-1023.

Jones, B.H., T.D. Dickey, L. Washburn, and D. Manov, 1993, "Physical and biological dynamics of sewage outfall plumes in the coastal region: an integrated observational approach", Water Pollution II: Modeling, measuring and prediction, L.C. Wrobel and C.A. Brebbia (eds.), Computational Mechanics Publications, Southampton, pp. 527-534.

Washburn, L., M. Swenson, J.L. Largier, P.M. Kosro, and S.R. Ramp, 1993, Cross-shelf sediment transport by an anti-cyclonic eddy off Northern California, Science, 261, 1560-1564.

Washburn, L., B.H. Jones, A. Bratkovich, T.D. Dickey, and M.S. Chen, 1992. Mixing, dispersion, and resuspension in the vicinity of an ocean wastewater plume, J. Hydraulic Engr., 118, 1, 38-58.

Jones, B.H., C.N.K. Mooers, M. Reinecker, T.P. Stanton, and L. Washburn, 1991. Chemical and biological structure of a cool filament observed off Northern California in July 1986 (OPTOMA-21), J. Geophys. Res., 96, C12, 22,207-22,2225.

Jones, B.H., L. Washburn, and Y. Wu, 1991. The dispersion of ocean outfall plumes: Physical and biological dynamics, Coastal Zone 91 - Proceedings of The Seventh Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Mangement, American Society of Civil Engineers, 74-85.

Wu, Y., L. Washburn, and B.H. Jones, 1991. Mixing and dispersion processes in the vicinity of an ocean outfall system in Southern California, Coastal Zone 91 - Proceedings of The Seventh Symposium on Coastal and Ocean Mangement, American Society of Civil Engineers, 124-134.

Strub, P.T., P.M. Kosro, A. Huyer, C. James, L.J. Walstad, R.L. Smith, J.A. Barth, R.R. Hood, M.R. Abbot, K.H. Brink, T.L. Hayward, P.P. Niiler, M.S. Swenson, R.K. Dewey, F. Chavez, S.R. Ramp, M.L. Batteen, R.L. Haney, D.L. Mackas, L. Washburn, D.C. Kadko, R.T. Barber, D.B. Haidvogel, 1991. The nature of cold filaments in the California Current System, J. Geophys. Res., 96, C8, 14,743-14,768.

Huyer, A., P. M. Kosro, J. Fleischbein, S.R. Ramp, T. Stanton, L. Washburn, F.P. Chavez, T.J. Cowles, S.D. Pierce, and R.L. Smith, 1991. Currents and water masses of the Coastal Transition Zone off Northern California, June to August 1988. J. Geophys. Res., 96, C8, 14,809-14,831.

Mackas, D.L., L. Washburn, and S.L. Smith, 1991. Zooplankton community pattern associated with a California Current Cold Filament, J. Geophys. Res., 96, C8, 14,781-14,797.

Kadko, D.C., L. Washburn, and B.H. Jones, 1991. Evidence of subduction within cold filaments of the Northern California Coastal Transition Zone, J. Geophys. Res., 96, C8, 14,909-14,926.

Washburn, L., D.C. Kadko, B.H. Jones, T. Hayward, P.M. Kosro, T.P. Stanton, S.Ramp, and T. Cowles, 1991. Water mass subduction and the transport of phytoplankton in a coastal upwelling system, J. Geophys. Res., 96, C8, 14,927-14,945.

Washburn, L., and L. Armi, 1990. Observations of lateral instabilities on an upper ocean density front. Stratified Flows, 941-949, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1112 p.

Washburn, L., D.A. Siegel, T.D. Dickey, and M.K. Hamilton, 1989. Isopycnal mixing and the distribution of particles across the North Pacific Sub-tropical Front. Deep-Sea Res., 36, 11, 1607-1620.

Siegel, D.A., T.D. Dickey, L. Washburn, M.K. Hamilton, and B.G. Mitchell, 1989. Optical determination of particulate production in the open ocean. Deep-Sea Res., 36, 2, 211-222.

Washburn, L., and L. Armi, 1988. Observations of frontal instabilities on an upwelling filament. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 18, 8, 1075-1092.

Washburn, L., and R.H. Kaese, 1987. Double diffusion and the distribution of density ratio in the Mediterranean waterfront SE of the Azores. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 17, 1, 12-25.

Washburn, L., 1987. Two dimensional mapping of temperature microstructure in a coastal region. J. Geophys. Res., 92, C10, 10787-10798.

Washburn, L., and T.K. Deaton, 1986. A simple system for mapping conductivity microstructure, J. Atmosperic and Oceanic Technology, 3, 3, 345-355.

Dickey, T.D., D.A. Siegel, A. Bratkovich, and L. Washburn, 1986, Observations of optical features associated with thermohaline structures. Proc. Soc. Photo-opt. Instr. (Ocean Optics VIII), 308-313.

Flament, P.J., A. Armi, and L. Washburn, 1985. The evolving structure of an upwelling filament. J. Geophys. Res., 90, C6, 11765-11778.

Washburn, J.O., and L. Washburn, 1984. Active aerial dispersal of minute, wingless arthropods: exploitation of boundary layer velocity gradients, Science, 223, 1088-1089.

Washburn, L., and C.H. Gibson, 1984. Horizontal variability of temperature microstructure at the base of a mixed layer during MILE, J. Geophys. Res., 89, C7, 3507-3522.

Washburn, L., and C.H. Gibson, 1982. Measurement of oceanic temperature microstructure using a small conductivity probe, J. Geophys. Res., 87, C6, 4230-4240.

Washburn, L., 1982. Horizontal observations of temperature microstructure within the seasonal thermocline, Ph.D. dissertation. University of California, San Diego.

Other Publications:

Washburn, L., 1991, "Mixing and finestructure processes in a coastal jet during OPTOMA21" Office of Naval Research, under contract no. N00014-89-J-1573.

Miller, C.B. and L. Washburn, 1992, "Importance of mesoscale physical features to ecological processes in the California Current System", Eastern Boundary Current Program, US Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics, Report No. 7, September, 37-43.

Washburn, L., 1995, Weather Monitoring in the Channel Islands National Park Prototype Monitoring Program, Program Review Report, National Biological Service, Office of Inventory and Monitoring.

Jones, B.H., L. Washburn, S. Bay, K. Schiff, Study of the impact of stormwater discharge on the beneficial uses of Santa Monica Bay, Annual Report, 22 October 1996.

Nishimoto M.M., and L. Washburn, , 2001, Midwater trawling and oceanographic surveys in the Santa Barbara Channel and adjacent coastal areas: Preliminary results from two contrasting years, 1998 and 1999, in "The ecological role of natural reefs and oil and gas production platforms on rocky reef fishes in Southern California, 1998-1999 Survey Report", Love, M.S., M.M. Nishimoto, and D. Schroeder, OCS Study MMS 2001-028, 115 p.

Dayton P., L. Washburn, and R. Zimmerman, 2000, Coastal Ocean Research in Looking Ahead, California Sea Grant Stratefic Plan 2001 – 2005, Report No. R-045, National Sea Grant Program, NOAA, US Dept. of Commerce.

Surface Current Mapping Initiative (including L. Washburn), Surface Current Mapping in U.S. Coastal Waters, Implementation of a National System, Oceans.US Report No. 7, June 2004.