Mariel D Nelson

Mariel D Nelson
B.A., Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 2018

Office: JGB


Hi! I'm a geomorphologist and second-year PhD student in the Department of Geological Sciences. I'm co-advised by David Mohrig (geomorphology) and Tim Goudge (remote sensing). I study the shape of landscapes and seek mathematical and process-based descriptions of how they change over time.

For my graduate research I conduct repeat topographic surveys of river banks using uncrewed aerial vehicles (little drones) to understand when and how they erode. I have one project studying sedimentary bank failures along the Trinity River, the longest river with a watershed located entirely in Texas. I'm also working on a collaborative project with another hydrology graduate student studying rockfalls along the limestone bedrock Pedernales River in the Central Texas Hill Country. At both field sites I'm interested in how tree roots limit or enhance bank erosion.

In Fall 2021 I'm on a research assistantship doing fieldwork mapping fluviolacustrine sandstone deposits around Moab, Utah and processing them into 3D digital models for sedimentology teaching and research.

I have an undergraduate degree in geophysics and a GIS minor from the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley. I wrote my undergraduate thesis under Bill Dietrich on shallow landslides caused by the 2017 California floods. During my time at Berkeley I also worked for Larry Hutchings at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab processing geothermal data and installing seismometers in Taiwan. Before becoming a graduate student, I spent two years working as a hydrologic field technician and data wrangler for Daniella Rempe at the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory.

I love to chat; send me an email!