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Robert Jacobson, PhD

Dr. Robert Jacobson is a Supervisory Research Hydrologist at the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

Dr. Robert B. Jacobson received his Ph.D. from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, and he holds an undergraduate degree in Geology from Carleton College. He has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey since 1983 in geologic hazards, neotectonics, paleoseismology, geomorphology, surficial processes and riverine habitat dynamics. He is the Chief of the River Studies Branch, where he supervises a staff of ecologists, fish biologists, geomorphologists and hydrologists engaged in interdisciplinary research in fundamental river processes, applied to pressing river management decisions.

Professional Experience

  • 2009 - Present - Supervisory Research Hydrologist, Branch Chief, Project Chief. Supervises a team of approximately 30 ecologists, fish biologists, geomorphologists, and hydrologists engaged in interdisciplinary research in river ecosystems. My research efforts are directed toward decision-relevant information needs for management and restoration of large rivers, with an emphasis on the M

  • 1997 – 2009 - Research Hydrologist and Principal Investigator, River Corridor Habitat Dynamics.  Supervised a team of hydrologists and geomorphologists and collaborated with fish biologists, ecologists, hydrologists, and geographers engaged in interdisciplinary river research.  Focus was on gravel-bed streams of the Ozark Plateaus and the highly engineered Lower Missouri River. 

  • 1989 – 1997 - Research Hydrologist, Project Chief, USGS, Rolla, Missouri.  Research in surficial processes, emphasis on sediment routing through watersheds, formation and maintenance of aquatic habitat

  • 1983 – 1989 - Research Geologist, USGS, Reston, Virginia.  Research in surficial processes, emphasis on neotectonics, paleoseismology, Quaternary climate change, landslide and flood hazards, Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Appalachian mountains.

Education and Certifications

  • PhD – The Johns Hopkins University, Whiting School of Engineering, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering.  

  • B.A. –  Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. Magna cum laude with Department honors, in Geology.

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