James T. Kirby, Edward C. Davis Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and professor of marine studies, will give a public lecture, "From Surf to Tsunami: Modeling Water Waves from Nearshore to Oceanic Scale" on Thursday, June 16, at 7:00 p.m., at the University of Delaware's College of Marine Studies in Lewes. Kirby's lecture is part of the Ocean Currents Lecture Series, which is held on the third Thursday of the month, from April through September, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus.
Kirby's main research interest lies in the theoretical foundation and numerical implementation of computer models used to calculate wave propagation on the surface of the ocean. His work has led to the development of several open-source model codes, one of which is being used in tsunami research. Open source codes give scientists the ability to read and modify a model so it can be adapted for various uses.
In a new study, Kirby will be using wave data, collected from wave gauges deployed at the Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse in the Delaware Bay, to test the accuracy of a computer model for predicting wave conditions. This study is supported by the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program, a statewide program of marine research, education, and outreach funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state of Delaware, and the University of Delaware. According to Kirby, the ability to make accurate forecasts of wave conditions in the bay and along nearby ocean beaches could increase the safety of boaters and fishermen. In addition, the computer model could help coastal communities prepare for storm surges.
A member of the University of Delaware faculty since 1989, Kirby earned a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and a master's degree in engineering mechanics from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1975 and 1976, respectively, and a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Delaware in 1983.
The lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 104, Cannon Laboratory, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes. The hour-long talk will be followed by light refreshments.
While the lecture is free and open to the public, seating is limited and reservations are required. To reserve your seat, please contact the college at (302) 645-4279.