Libe Washburn is an oceanographer and professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Marine Science Institute and the Department of Geography. His current research focuses on how ocean circulation processes affect marine communities in near-shore ecosystems. Current projects include studies of: (1) coastal ocean dynamics, (2) circulation effects on phytoplankton blooms; 3) coastal current patterns and transport of marine organisms; and (5) exchange of water-borne materials between kelp forests and the offshore ocean. Washburn’s research is based on observations from a variety of approaches including high frequency radar systems for mapping surface currents, moorings, ocean gliders, and other autonomous vehicles. He serves as the chair of the Board of Governors of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System. Early in his career before entering to graduate school he worked as an aerospace engineer.
Libe Washburn’s research focuses on oceanographic studies to understand how ocean circulation processes affect marine communities in ocean a variety of ocean environments. His current research is funded by NOAA and NSF. Ongoing projects study 1) circulation effects on phytoplankton blooms; (2) how oceanographic processes control ocean acidification in coastal waters; (3) coastal ocean dynamics from surface current patterns mapped by radar; and (4) physical-biological coupling as part of the Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research project. Washburn’s research is based on observations from HF radar for mapping surface currents, moorings, ocean gliders, and other autonomous vehicles. His laboratory is developing payloads to be carried by aerial drones for studies of the coastal ocean. He is active in development of coastal ocean observing systems around US and is the board chair of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System. He serves on committees to advise NOAA and state agencies on ocean issues such as climate changes effects, hypoxia, ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and validation of physical-biogeochemical models.
James, A.K., L. Washburn, C. Gotschalk, S. Maritorena, A. Alldredge, C.E. Nelson, J.L. Hench, J.J. Leichter, A.S.J. Wyatt, and C.A. Carlson, 2020, An Island Mass Effect Resolved Near Mo’orea, French Polynesia, Front. Mar. Sci., 30 Jan. 2020, https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2020.00016.
Nishimoto, M.M., L. Washburn, M.S. Love, D.M. Schroeder, and B. Emery, 2019, Timing of Juvenile Fish Settlement at Offshore Oil Platforms Coincides with Water Mass Advection into the Santa Barbara Channel, California, Bull Mar Sci. 95(4):559–582, https://doi.org/10.5343/bms.2018.0068.
Matson, P. G., Washburn, L., E.A. Fields, C. Gotschalk, T.M. Ladd, D.A. Siegel, Zoë S. Welch, and M. Debora Iglesias‐Rodrigues, 2019, Formation, development, and propagation of a rare coastal coccolithophore bloom, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 124,3298–3316, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JC015072.
Emery, B., and L. Washburn, 2019, Uncertainty estimates for SeaSonde HF radar ocean current observations, J. of Atmos. Oceanic. Tech., 231-247, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0104.1.
Reed, D., L. Washburn, A. Rassweiler, R. Miller, Tom Bell, and S. Harrer, 2016, Extreme warming challenges sentinel status of kelp forests as indicators of climate change, Nature Communications, 13 December 2016, 7, 13757, doi: 10.1038/ncomms13757, https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13757
Fewings, M.R., L. Washburn, and J.C. Ohlmann, 2015, Coastal water circulation patterns around the Northern Channel Islands and Point Conception, California, Progress in Oceanography, 138, 283-304, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2015.10.001.
Washburn, L., and E. McPhee-Shaw, 2013, Coastal transport processes affecting inner-shelf ecosystems in the California Current System, Oceanography, 26(3), 34–43, doi http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2013.43.
Paduan, J.D., and L. Washburn, 2013, High-frequency radar observations of ocean surface currents, Annual Review of Marine Science, 5, 115-136, doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-121211-172315.
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. Oceans, 116, C12028, doi:10.1029/2011JC007502.