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Dr. Steve Elgar

Senior Scientist
Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department

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Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-3614
Bigelow 206

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #11
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

Observations and models of nearshore processes, including wave evolution across the continental shelf to the shoreline, the corresponding breaking-wave-driven circulation, and the subsequent changes to surfzone morphology (e.g., beach erosion and accretion). Analysis of nonlinear random processes, especially geophysical time series.

Graduate Students

  • Thomas Berge MS 1988 DSP Workstations
  • Gloria Sebert MS 1989 Statistics of bicoherence and biphase
  • Vinod Chandran PhD 1990 2-D Bispectral analysis
  • Mary Ann Ferriole MS 1990 Dissipation in the surf zone
  • Zhenhua Liu PhD 1993 Wave group statistics
  • Barry Vanhoff PhD 1996 Simulation of nonlinear ocean waves
  • Edie Gallagher PhD 1996 (co-chair Guza) Observations of sand bar evolution on a natural beach
  • Anton Schoenbacher MS 1997 Wave refraction/diffraction GUI
  • Fernanda Hoefel PhD 2003 Wave-induced sediment transport and morphological change
  • Jim Thomson PhD 2006 Infragravity waves
  • Mara Orescanin, PhD 2015, Processes near an inlet mouth
  • Melissa Moulton, PhD 2016, Perturbations to the surfzone seafloor
  • Julia Hopkins, PhD 2017, Shoreline morphological evolution

Postdoctoral Researchers

  • John Schneider (1990-1992)
  • Vinod Chandran (1990-1993)
  • Zhenhua Liu (1994)
  • Barry Vanhoff (1996-1997)
  • Tom Hsu (2003-2004)
  • Jim Thomson (2006)
  • David Clark (2011-2013)
  • Erika Johnson (2017)
  • Julia Hopkins (2017)


B.S. University of Idaho, 1980, Civil Engineering & Mathematics

M.S. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1981, Oceanography

Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1985, Oceanography



  • Research Associate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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