Alice Goward Brown ECR-TG - COAWST Training Course

On the 24nd February 2019, I flew over to Raleigh, North Carolina to attend a weeklong training course on the COAWST modelling system, which I was able to attend with the assistance of the PRIMaRE ECR travel grant (ECR-TG). The COAWST training course is held every two years and brings together experts and novices in the WRF, ROMS and SWAN modelling communities. This year the workshop was held at the James Hunt library at the North Carolina State University.

As a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the SEACAMS2 and Ecostructure projects, I work alongside marine stakeholders in Wales to address research questions relevant to the industry through field surveys and numerical modeling applications. For my research I have been developing a baroclinic model of the Irish Sea to investigate the connectivity pathways for biogeochemical processes and understand the how offshore structures will interact with more complex ocean environments. My interest in attending the COAWST training course was to learn how to link together WRF, ROMS and SWAN models to look at how coupled systems interact to anthropogenic activities.

The week began with an introduction to the atmospheric model WRF and the running of a hurricane sandy test case, which would form the basis of the case study we would be adding to over the week. That evening there was a networking event where we were able to sample some of North Carolina State Universities’ own-brew craft beer over a selection of southern style buffet food! On Tuesday we progressed on to ROMS modelling with a crash course in the running ROMS and refinement nesting. Wednesday was SWAN with an introduction to wave theory provided and an explanation of how SWAN has been adapted to be used in COAWST – at the end of the day we were tutored in how to run a fully coupled WRF, ROMS and SWAN model for the Hurricane Sandy case and spent the afternoon plotting hurricane tracks and streamlines. On Thursday, the course finished with a rapid overview of “all the other uses for COAWST”: ice, sediments, biogeochemistry and vegetation, along with a whistle-stop tour of the Matlab and Python toolboxes available developed by the team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, amongst others.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

This project has received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council under grant agreement EP/P026109/1