Dakota Mascarenas

Graduate Research Assistant, Civil & Environmental Engineering – Hydrology & Hydrodynamics

I am a PhD student in CEE-H&H with the EFM group – holy acronyms, Batman! I study coastal and estuarine processes that affect dissolved oxygen in the coastal ocean. Currently, my work uses observational data to evaluate anthropogenic impacts on hypoxia in our local Salish Sea, partnered with King County and co-advised by Alex Horner-Devine (CEE) and Parker MacCready (Oceanography). I’ve also spent some time with Alex Fisher and Jim Thomson studying energetic tidal fronts and their impact on vertical mixing and turbulent exchange in coastal oceans like the San Juan Islands!

Before joining the EFM group, I did a Master’s Thesis in Structural Engineering here at UW, advised by Michael Motley (CEE). I lead an experimental program at Oregon State University’s NHERI OH Hinsdale Wave Lab to understand the effects of debris fields driven by tsunami-like waves on test structures. This project sought to inform tsunami-resilient structural design via a statistical understanding of such non-deterministic events. Getting to study fluids and structures was really exciting and I recognized my passion for our coastal ocean!

Before UW, I worked as a Project Engineer for general contractors in the San Francisco Bay Area after finishing an undergrad in Civil Engineering at Stanford University in 2017. I am originally from a land-locked suburb of Denver, Castle Rock, CO.

Outside of work, you can find me pursuing various hobbies-du-jour, skiing, paddling, camping, doing cool stuff with friends, and enjoying this amazing place we call home!