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John Moody

Hydrologist

Contact Info


Short Biography

I was born and raised in Colorado, and have a BA and MA in physics from the CU Boulder and SUNY at Stony Brook.  In 1968, I studied Oceanography at MIT and WHOI.  I taught Earth Sciences, Marine Biology and Oceanography on Cape Cod and worked as a Physical Oceanographer for the USGS doing environmental research on the Continental Shelf and in submarine canyons.  I returned to Colorado in 1987 to coordinate a multidiscipline project studying sed­iment-transported pollutants in the Mississippi River, and to work on additional research that focuses on river geomorphology. A severe wildfire in Colorado and subsequent flooding in 1996 provided the opportunity to study the geomorphic response of burned watersheds. 

 



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My Science Topics


Science Topic
Subtopic
Hydrologic Processeshydrodynamics
Hydrologic Processeshydrology
Hydrologic Processesrunoff
Hydrologic Processessediment transport
Hydrologic Processesstreamflow



My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Climate Variability & Change

A National Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program

Geomorphology and Sediment Transport

I like to think of myself as one of the last Naturalists.  A person with a wide interest in the biological, ecological, geological and physical sciences and who loves to unravel how these sciences are intertwined. My educational background is in physics, which has allowed me to pursue these many interests. I taught marine biology, oceanography, earth sciences and physics and worked for a number of years as a physical oceanographer in the Atlantic Branch of Marine Geology in Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  Here I studied tides and sediment transport on the continental shelf. 

From Cape Cod, I moved back to Colorado where I was born and shifted my focus to studying geomorphology and specifically rivers.  Some rivers have been the Mississippi and its Tributaries, the Ob River in Russia, the Amazon River in Brazil, and Powder River in Montana.  The muddy Powder River, which flows into the Yellowstone River, provides a great outdoor laboratory for studying how a "natural" river works to create a landscape, because it transports sufficient sediment and is one of the few rivers that have not been affected by human intervention.  This research on rivers continues today, but I have expanded into the field of post-wildfire research after the 1996 Buffalo Creek wildfire destabilized two watersheds in Colorado, and a subsequent 100-year rainstorm  produced an extreme flood that eroded and deposited an impressive amount of sediment. 

Thus, my present research project investigates Erosion and Deposition Processes at multiple scales.  These research results are used to help develop physically-based algorithms of the essential processes at various scales, which can be linked together to form geomorphic models to predict future change.  Change can be the result of disturbances such as hurricanes, wildfires, and dam removal; desired restoration of watershed elements such as hillslopes and channels; control of invasive plant species; or potential changes in critical variables as the result of climate change.


Contact Information

John Moody
3215 Marine Street, Suite E-127
Boulder, CO 80303
303-541-3011
303-541-3084 - Fax
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