Graham Sustainability Institute

Dave Schwab

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Research Scientist
  • Office of the Provost
    • Graham Institute
  • Other/None of the Above
Research Scientist

Ph.D., University of Michigan, Oceanic Science, 1981
M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Physics, 1974
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Applied Mathematics and Physics, 1972

Dave Schwab is a world-renowned expert on hydrodynamic modeling of the Great Lakes and other coastal regions. Before joining the Water Center in 2013, Schwab was a research scientist and division chief at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory for 37 years. His work covered a wide range of topics in geophysical fluid dynamics including theoretical, numerical, and observational investigations of circulation, thermal structure, seiches, storm surges, wind waves, and air-sea interaction.

Schwab was instrumental in designing, developing, and implementing a comprehensive coastal forecasting system for the Great Lakes which is currently in use by NOAA for operational marine forecasting, oil spill response, and search and rescue support for the US Coast Guard. The Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System was the first of its kind in the country and has served as a model for several other systems around the world. Schwab's current interests are in applications of hydrodynamic modeling to water quality problems, including transport of bacteria from tributary sources to swimming beaches and predictive tracking of algal blooms.

In 2013, Schwab was awarded two awards for his sustained scientific contributions to Great Lakes research: the Distinguished Career Award from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR).