Brandon Sackmann’s Research on Skagit River Estuary Published in Northwest Science
July 22, 2016

Brandon Sackmann, Ph.D., managing scientist at Integral Consulting Inc., recently published an article titled “Sensitivity of Circulation in the Skagit River Estuary to Sea Level Rise and Future Flows” in the journal Northwest Science.  Along with coauthors from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Sackmann developed a 3-dimensional model of the Skagit River estuary in response to climate change uncertainties.  This model was used to analyze the circulation and transport in the Skagit River estuary, including interaction between the Skagit Bay, Padilla Bay, and Saratoga Passage.  The article discusses the ecosystem of this geographical area, development of the model, and results of analyses.

The model developed by Dr. Sackmann and coauthors analyzes the effect of future conditions on upstream salinity intrusion and net transport through the estuarine system.  Climate change is of great concern in the Skagit River estuary as there are habitat restoration and protection projects under way in this area to recover wild salmon populations, which have declined to historically low levels.  This article presents a 3‑dimensional analysis that includes data from 2008 projections compared with future projections.

An oceanographer and biogeochemical modeler, Dr. Sackmann has 14 years of experience working for academic and oceanographic research institutions, state environmental agencies, and private clients.  He specializes in phytoplankton ecology, satellite remote sensing, and ocean optics.  Dr. Sackmann has developed statistically robust methods for merging disparate oceanographic data sets to conduct investigations across a wide variety of time and space scales.

To read the abstract, visit

For more information, contact Dr. Sackmann at