David Jay, Professor
Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography, University of Washington, 1987
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
One symptom of global climate change is an increase in the range of tides throughout most of the eastern Pacific. Sea levels are rising and storm waves are growing larger, resulting in potentially severe coastal erosion along Pacific shores—including near the mouth of the Columbia River.
David Jay is working to reinvent tidal analysis, a field of study that hasn't been modernized since the 1920s. His research involves extracting more meaningful information from data points around the world to make better predictions about tide changes in the future. Results of the research will have wide-ranging uses for virtually anyone connected to the world's oceans. That includes the U.S. Navy, which has approached Jay in an effort to know more about the tides in strategic locations around the world.
Closer to home, Jay is researching the effects man and nature have on salmon habitat in the Columbia River basin. As part of his interest in the Columbia, Jay and colleague Scott Wells are working to establish the Center for Columbia Basin Research at Portland State. It will be a multidisciplinary group that can advise the many state and federal agencies in Oregon and Washington on salmon and other river management issues.