Eric Anderson, Ph.D. (hydrodynamicist)
Eric Anderson, Ph.D. is a hydrodynamicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The physical scientist at the NOAA-funded Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystem Research studies the physical nature of Great Lakes waters and how they respond to natural forces, which means predicting things like currents, temperature, water levels and waves. An example of a hydrodynamic event is the affect of wind in pushing water towards one end of the lake, stacking it up, resulting in a storm surge. If the wind dies down, this absence of force will cause the water to slosh within the lake resulting in a seiche effect, much like water in a bathtub. Hydrodynamics differs from hydrology in that it studies the dynamics or the motion of the water and the transfer of energy, where as hydrology tends to focus on aspects related to the water budget and quality.
His research focuses on hydrodynamics in the Great Lakes and connecting channels. Numerical models and a network of observations, including meteorological conditions, water levels, and flows, are used to predict the physical environment of lakes, rivers, and coastal zones including three-dimensional currents, temperatures, and water levels. These predictions are used in several areas such as navigation, search and rescue, water quality, spill transport, and beach forecasting.