Jim Thomson
Assistant Professor
Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Jim Thomson

1013 NE 40th St, Box 355640
Applied Physics Lab
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: (206) 616-0858  •  Fax: (206) 543-6785
Email: jthomson@apl.washington.edu

Jim was raised on the coast of Maine and worked in the sailing industry prior to beginning a career in environmental fluid mechanics. After completing a PhD in MIT's joint program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he joined the University of Washington's Applied Physics Lab in 2006. In 2009, he began a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He studies ocean surface waves and coastal processes by combining field observations and remote sensing techniques.

A detailed CV is available here.

A list of current projects is available here.



  • CEE 342 Fluid Mechanics

Research Interests (see APL projects)

Journal Publications

Conference Proceedings

Selected/Recent Presentations


  • ONR Young Investigator Program (2007).
  • Outstanding Paper, Ocean Sciences Meeting (2006).
  • Gould Research Prize, Middlebury College (2000).
  • Phi Beta Kappa (2000).


  • National Academy of Sciences workshop: Oceanography in 2025
  • Invited/Guest lectures: Pacific Science Center "Science Cafe" with KCTS public televsion (2009), Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (2009), Marine Technology Society (2008), Cape Cod Community College (2005).
  • Volunteering: Ocean Inquiry Project


  • US Coast Guard Captain's Licence, 100 ton coastal (1996-present).
  • American Academy of Underwater Sciences SCUBA diver (2001-present).