Environmental Fluid Mechanics
1013 NE 40th St, Box 355640
Applied Physics Lab
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: (206) 616-0858 • Fax: (206) 543-6785
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.
Research Interests (see APL projects)
- Thomson, J., Observations of thermal diffusivity and a relation to the porosity of tidal flat sediments, Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (2010).
- Thomson, J. J.R. Gemmrich, and A.T. Jessup, Energy dissipation and the spectral distribution of whitecaps, Geophyscial Research Letters, 36 (2009).
- Thomson, J. and A.T. Jessup, A Fourier-based method for the distribution of breaking crests from video observations, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 26 (2009).
- Thomson, J., S. Elgar, T.H.C. Herbers, B. Raubenheimer, and R.T. Guza, Refraction and reflection of infragravity waves near submarine canyons, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 (2007).
- Thomson, J., S. Elgar, B. Raubenheimer, T.H.C. Herbers, and R.T. Guza, Tidal modulation of infragravity waves via nonlinear energy losses in the surfzone, Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (2006).
- Thomson, J., S. Elgar, and T.H.C. Herbers, Reflection and tunneling of ocean waves observed at a submarine canyon, Geophysical Research Letters, 32 (2005). Online appendix: inverse method
- Pedlosky, J., and J. Thomson, Baroclinic instability of time-dependent currents, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 490 (2003).
- Thomson, J., M. Richmond, B. Polagye, Quantifying turbulence for tidal power applications, Oceans 2010 MTS/IEEE, Seattle ,WA (2010).
- Polagye, B., J. Epler, J. Thomson, Limits to the predictability of tidal current power , Oceans 2010 MTS/IEEE, Seattle, WA (2010).
- Epler, J., B. Polagye, J. Thomson, Shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler surveys to assess tidal current resources , Oceans 2010 , Seattle, WA (2010).
- Bassett, C., J. Thomson, B. Polagye, Characterizing Underwater Noise at a Tidal Energy Site , Ocean 2010 MTS/IEEE, Seattle WA (2010).
- Gooch, S., J. Thomson, B. Polagye, and D. Meggitt, Site Characterization for Tidal Power, Oceans 2009 MTS/IEEE.
- Thomson, J. and J. Talbert, Dissipation from a Drifter , AGU fall meeting (2010).
- Thomson, J. Harnessing the Tides, Harnessing the Tides: siting and monitoring a new technology , Noterk User Symposium (2010).
- Jessup, A., J. Thomson, J. Gemmrich, Energy dissipation and the spectral distribution of whitecaps via remote sensing , Ocean Sciences Meeting (2010).
- Thomson, J., C. Chickadel, and T. Drexler, Sediment classification via heat flux observations, AGU fall meeting (2008).
- Thomson, J. Infrared sensing of tidal flat porosity, IGARSS meeting (2008).
- Thomson, J., A. Jessup, and J. Gemmrich, Energy dissipation and the distribution of breaking crests, WISE meeting (2008).
- Thomson, J., A. Jessup, and J. Gemmrich, Remote estimation and validation of wave-breaking dissipation, Ocean Sciences Meeting (2008).
- Thomson, J., S. Elgar, B. Raubenheimer, and T.H.C. Herbers, Infragravity energy loss in the surfzone via nonlinear interactions, Ocean Sciences Meeting (2006).
- Thomson, J., S. Elgar, and T.H.C. Herbers, Observations of Wave Reflection from a Submarine Canyon, AGU fall meeting (2004).
- 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).