Heidi Nepf, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been awarded the 1995 Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization from the MIT Sea Grant College Program.
Every year, the program selects one new faculty member for a supplemental award of $25,000 per year for two years.
Dr. Nepf's research focuses on turbulence, mixing and contaminant transport in coastal waters and estuaries. With increased residential development, coastal areas are faced with increasing levels of pollution. Using the Doherty fellowship, Dr. Nepf will study the role that marsh systems play in regulating the flux of land-source pollutants and nutrients to coastal waters. The work will examine the effects of vegetation on the hydrodynamics of small-scale marshes and coastal areas and help clarify the potentially cleansing role played by salt marshes.
Dr. Nepf received the MS and PhD degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before coming to MIT.
In 1994, Frank Z. Feng, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded the two-year chair for his proposal to study wave-wave interaction due to nonlinear resolution.
The Doherty Fellowship, endowed by the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, encourages promising, non-tenured professors to undertake marine-related research that will further innovative uses of the ocean's resources. The area of research may address any aspect of marine use and/or management, whether social, political, environmental or technological.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 1, 1995.