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Nicholas A. Sutfin

Hydrologist and Surface Water Specialist for the Washington Water Science Center

I am interested in how flowing water and gravity shape the surface of the Earth and support healthy ecosystems. Projects that examine natural hazards and rivers and how those processes may shift under a changing climate and societal pressures are most appealing to me. My research focuses on feedbacks between water, sediment, and biota within river channels with an emphasis on how channel form influences hydrologic connectivity, sediment dynamics, carbon dynamics, and ecosystem habitat. I am particularly interested in research that can inform landscape response to climate, hydrogeomorphic impacts of wildfire, potential impacts of floods, and the sustainability of freshwater resources to balance societal and ecological needs


Professional Experience

  • 2021 to present - Hydrologist and Surface Water Specialist, USGS Washington Water Science Center, Tacoma, WA

  • 2018 to 2021 - Visiting Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Earth, Environmental, & Planetary Sciences

  • 2016 to 2018 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystem Sciences Team; Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, EES-14.

  • Fall 2014 - Visiting Lecturer, Vietnam National University of Forestry (VNUF), Advanced Natural Resources Management Program

  • 2009 - NOAA Hollings Scholar Intern, United States Geological Survey & the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Geologic Hazards Team, Golden, CO. Early Warning System for Post-fire Flash Floods and Debris Flows

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D. Earth Sciences - Fluvial Geomorphology, Colorado State University, 2016

  • M.S. Geosciences - Geomorphology, Colorado State University, 2013

  • B.S. Geosciences - Hydrology, Boise State University, 2009

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • 2019 to present - Communications Coordinator & Division Officer, Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division, Geological Society of America.

  • 2012 to 2015 - Doctoral Fellow, National Science Foundation, Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) in the Integrated Water, Atmosphere, Ecosystem Education and Research

  • 2008 to 2009 - NOAA Hollings Scholar, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • American Geophysical Union (2011 – present)

  • Geological Society of America (2008 – present)

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government