Academy of Distinguished Alumni

Stephen G. Monismith

Stephen G. Monismith Ph.D.

Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on

Stephen G. Monismith received his B.S. (1977), M.S. (1979), and Ph.D. (1983) degrees in Civil (Water Resources) Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  From 1983-1986, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Water Resources at the University of Western Australia.  Since then, he has been on the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Stanford University, starting as an Assistant Professor and them moving to the rank of Professor in 1999.  In 2009, he was appointed Obayashi Professor in the School of Engineering and in 2013, he was named CEE Department Chair.  In 1989, Professor Monismith received a presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Professor Monismith has been a leader in developing a rigorous physically-based understanding of the water environment with a focus on evaluating the transport of dissolved and particulate materials, and aquatic organisms, in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments.  He has employed field measurements, laboratory experiments, and modeling studies to quantify the transport and mixing processes at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales needed to understand how aquatic organisms exist within these dynamic environments.  His scale-based view of coral reefs has provided the logical basis for much recent coral reef hydrodynamic research.  One example of the high impact of his work is the understanding he has elucidated of the physical aspects of the complex coral reef environment.  This is a pressing need given the environmental stresses on coral reefs world-wide.  In addition, related work on forecasting the response of salinity to freshwater flows guides policy decisions on flow management and flow diversions while sustaining ecosystem health in the San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Professor Monismith is the author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed technical papers and publications, many are in archival journals.  He is a member of the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), Committee on Sustainable Water and Environmental Management in the California Bay-Delta and the Committee on the Independent Scientific Review of the Everglades Restoration Program.  He is Associate Editor of Limnology and Oceanography:  Fluids and Environments.  He has also served on several scientific advisory groups and committees related to the San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Professor Monismith is a tireless supporter of Berkeley CEE.  Through regular collaborations with his former students that are now on the Berkeley faculty, he helps to sustain the high-impact and contributions of the environmental fluid mechanics program.  He presently serves on the Berkeley CEE Advisory Council.