Nicholas Beaird
Assistant Teaching Professor
71 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | Room 205A

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Research Interests

My research interests lie in high-latitude observational physical oceanography, including ocean-glacier interaction, buoyancy-driven flows, and water mass modification. These processes influence sea level rise, the production of global water masses, and large-scale thermohaline circulation. Much of my work relates to North Atlantic thermohaline circulation including both its ‘overturning’ and ‘estuarine’ modes. I use a wide variety of observational tools to approach these research areas including AUVs, ships, moorings and geochemical tracers. I have worked to assess the mixing and modification of dense overflows at the ‘headwaters’ of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. I’m broadly interested in understanding the influence of meltwater from Greenland on North Atlantic circulation, from fjord to basin scales, and have developed new tools to measure meltwater pathways in coastal waters. Much of my research crosses disciplinary boundaries, from bringing together oceanography and glaciology around Greenland, to the relationship between turbulence and biogeochemical cycling in the Pacific Arctic.

I’m also excited about the application of ocean observing technologies to societally relevant problems. In this vein, I am working to help train students as part of Rutgers’ Masters degree in integrated ocean observing.

Short History

I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics at Colby College in 2006. In 2010 I finished my masters in physical oceanography at the University of Washington, and completed my Ph.D. at UW in 2013. My thesis, with Peter Rhines and Charlie Eriksen examined dense overflows from the Nordic Seas into the North Atlantic. After leaving UW, I was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution working with Fiamma Straneo on ocean glacier interaction around Greenland. From 2017 to 2018 I worked at Oregon State University with Emily Shroyer to understand turbulence and its relationship to nutrient availability in the Chukchi Sea. In 2019 I joined Rutgers as an Assistant Teaching Professor.

Teaching Efforts

I am working to develop and implement courses for Rutgers new masters degree in integrated ocean observing.