Christine M Baker

Previous graduate student in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Group, Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Baker graduated from University of Washington in March 2023. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at North Carolina State University and starts at an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University in July 2024.

I study coastal currents and eddies to understand their effect on the transport of pollutants, larvae, and sediment.

Three-dimensional circulation in the nearshore is critical for the transport of tracer (e.g., contaminants, sediment, and larvae) along the coast and between the surf zone (from the shoreline to the seaward extent of depth-limited wave breaking) and the inner shelf (seaward from the surfzone edge to about 1.5 km offshore).  Rip currents, a primary driver of cross-shore exchange, pose hazards for recreational swimmers and naval operations. During my masters with Nirnimesh Kumar in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Melissa Moulton in the Applied Physics Laboratory, I investigated the dependence of surfzone eddies on bathymetry with phase-resolved numerical simulations. As a Ph.D. student, I study the formation and evolution of surfzone eddies and transient rip currents in laboratory experiments at Oregon State University’s O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory (OHHWRL) Directional Wave Basin. These experiments combine in situ measurements with remote sensing, including LiDAR and stereo visible imagery, to quantify wave evolution and currents in the laboratory basin surf zone. I closely collaborate with Emma Nuss, an EFM graduate student, to investigate transient rip current dynamics with numerical modeling. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense’s National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. 

I grew up in Renton, Washington and completed my undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. During my undergrad, I studied tsunami wave impact on coastal structures in the OHHWRL Large Wave Flume. At UW, I am involved in the Program on Climate Change, Society of Women in Marine Science, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Student Advisory Board. During my PhD, I have interned at the Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis, MS and Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility, Duck, NC. I enjoy being outside whether I am hiking, skiing, or running. 

Contact Information

Christine M Baker (she/her/hers)
Harris Hydraulics Laboratory, Room 203
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2700
Linked In: Christine Baker

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