Our guest on The Ecology Hour, Dr. John Largier, is Professor of Coastal Oceanography at the University of California Davis and a pioneer in the emerging field of environmental oceanography – linking traditional oceanographic study to critical environmental issues. His research includes field studies of small west coast estuaries, focusing on water movement and water-borne transportation of plankton, larvae, contaminants, pathogens, heat, salt, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and sediment.
Some Mendocino County streams empty into the sea through small estuaries that are seasonally blocked by sand bars. The Navarro River in particular often receives attention in late fall and early winter, when the lagoon behind the barrier bar can rise to flood Highway 128, prompting some to call for efforts to artificially breach the bar. Dr. Largier’s research may help us understand how and why these bars form, how the lagoon functions ecologically, and what environmental effects could result from artificial breaching.
(image from Nicholas Wilson, via Facebook)