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Jan Newton

Senior Principal Oceanographer

Affiliate Professor, Oceanography






Dr. Jan Newton is a Senior Principal Oceanographer with the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington and an affiliate professor with the UW School of Oceanography and the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, both in the UW College of the Environment. She is the Executive Director of the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), the US IOOS Regional Association for the Pacific Northwest. She is a Co-director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center and the Co-chair of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network.

Jan is a biological oceanographer who has studied the physical, chemical, and biological dynamics of Puget Sound and coastal Washington, including understanding effects from climate and humans on water properties. Currently she has been working with colleagues at UW and NOAA to assess the status of ocean acidification in our local waters.

Department Affiliation

Ocean Physics


B.S. Biology, Western Washington University, 1981

M.S. Oceanography, University of Washington - Seattle, 1984

Ph.D. Oceanography, University of Washington - Seattle, 1989


Washington Real-time Coastal Moorings (NEMO)

The Northwest Enhanced Moored Observatory (NEMO), which consists of a heavily-instrumented real-time surface mooring (Cha Ba), a real-time subsurface profiling mooring (NEMO-Subsurface) and a Seaglider to collect spatial information, aims to improve our understanding of complex physical, chemical and biological processes on the largely unsampled Washington shelf.

27 Sep 2011

NVS: NANOOS Visualization System

The NANOOS Visualization System (NVS) is your tool for easy access to data. NVS gathers data across a wide range of assets such as buoys, shore stations, and coastal land-based stations. Never before available downloads and visualizations are provided in a consistent format. You can access plots and data for almost all in-situ assets for the previous 30-day period.

2 Nov 2009

NANOOS: Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems

This Pacific Northwest regional association is a partnership of information producers and users allied to manage coastal ocean observing systems for the benefit of stakeholders and the public. NANOOS is creating customized information and tools for Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.

1 Jan 2004

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Backyard Buoys: Equipping Underserved Communities with Ocean Intelligence Platforms

Backyard Buoys is a new community-led project funded by the National Science Foundation's Convergence Accelerator program. This critical initiative empowers Indigenous coastal communities to collect and use ocean data to bolster maritime activities, food security, and coastal hazard protection. Oceanographic buoys deployed in Alaska, the Pacific Islands, and along the Washington coast, will provide accessible and actionable ocean data that bridges to Indigenous knowledge via a web-based application. Post-deployment, a sustainable and Indigenous community-led stewardship program will oversee management of the buoys.

15 Jun 2022

Environmental Sample Processor: A Sentry for Toxic Algal Blooms off the Washington Coast

An undersea robot that measures harmful algal species has been deployed by APL, UW, and NOAA researchers off the Washington coast near La Push. Algal bloom toxicity data are relayed to shore in near-real time and displayed through the NANOOS visualization system. The Environmental Sample Processor, or ESP, is taking measurements near the Juan de Fuca eddy, which is a known incubation site for toxic blooms that often travel toward coastal beaches, threatening fisheries and human health.

22 Jun 2016

ORCA Tracks the 'Blob'

A 'blob' of very warm surface water developed in the northeastern Pacific Ocean in 2014–2015 and its influence extended to the inland waters of Puget Sound throughout the summer of 2015. The unprecedented conditions were tracked by the ORCA (Oceanic Remote Chemical Analyzer) buoy network — an array of six heavily instrumented moored buoys in the Sound. ORCA data provided constant monitoring of evolving conditions and allowed scientists to warn of possible fish kill events in the oxygen-starved waters of Hood Canal well in advance.

The ORCA network is maintained by a partnership among APL-UW, the UW College of the Environment, and the UW School of Oceanography.

3 Nov 2015

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

Multi-stressor observations and modeling to build understanding of and resilience to the coastal impacts of climate change

Newton, J., P. MacCready, S. Siedlecki, D. Manalang, J. Mickett, S. Alin, E. Schumacker, J. Hagen, S. Moore, A. Sutton, and R. Carini, "Multi-stressor observations and modeling to build understanding of and resilience to the coastal impacts of climate change," Oceanography, 34, 86-87, 2022.

7 Jan 2022

Seasonality and life history complexity determine vulnerability of Dungeness crab to multiple climate stressors

Berger, H.M., S.A. Siedlecki, C.M. Matassa, S.R. Alin, I.C. Kaplan, E.E. Hodgson, D.J. Pilcher, E.L. Norton, and J.A. Newton, "Seasonality and life history complexity determine vulnerability of Dungeness crab to multiple climate stressors," AGU Adv., 2, doi:10.1029/2021AV000456, 2021.

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1 Dec 2021

Scaling climate change impacts from individual responses to population-level vulnerability is a pressing challenge for scientists and society. We assessed vulnerability of the most valuable fished species in the Northwest U.S. — Dungeness crab — to climate stressors using a novel combination of ocean, population, and larval transport models with stage-specific consequences of ocean acidification, hypoxia, and warming. Integration across pelagic and benthic life stages revealed increased population-level vulnerability to each stressor by 2100 under RCP 8.5. Under future conditions, chronic vulnerability to low pH emerged year-round for all life stages, whereas vulnerability to low oxygen continued to be acute, developing seasonally and impacting adults, which are critical to population growth. Our results demonstrate how ontogenetic habitat shifts and seasonal ocean conditions interactively impact population-level vulnerability. Because most valuable U.S. fisheries rely on species with complex life cycles in seasonal seas, chronic and acute perspectives are necessary to assess population-level vulnerability to climate change.

Coastal processes modify projections of some climate-driven stressors in the California Current System

Siedlecki, S.A., and 10 others including J.A. Newton, "Coastal processes modify projections of some climate-driven stressors in the California Current System," Biogeosciences, 18, 2871-2890, doi:10.5194/bg-18-2871-2021, 2021.

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11 May 2021

Global projections for ocean conditions in 2100 predict that the North Pacific will experience some of the largest changes. Coastal processes that drive variability in the region can alter these projected changes but are poorly resolved by global coarse-resolution models. We quantify the degree to which local processes modify biogeochemical changes in the eastern boundary California Current System (CCS) using multi-model regionally downscaled climate projections of multiple climate-associated stressors (temperature, O2, pH, saturation state (Ω), and CO2). The downscaled projections predict changes consistent with the directional change from the global projections for the same emissions scenario. However, the magnitude and spatial variability of projected changes are modified in the downscaled projections for carbon variables. Future changes in pCO2 and surface Ω are amplified, while changes in pH and upper 200 m Ω are dampened relative to the projected change in global models. Surface carbon variable changes are highly correlated to changes in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), pCO2 changes over the upper 200 m are correlated to total alkalinity (TA), and changes at the bottom are correlated to DIC and nutrient changes. The correlations in these latter two regions suggest that future changes in carbon variables are influenced by nutrient cycling, changes in benthic––pelagic coupling, and TA resolved by the downscaled projections. Within the CCS, differences in global and downscaled climate stressors are spatially variable, and the northern CCS experiences the most intense modification. These projected changes are consistent with the continued reduction in source water oxygen; increase in source water nutrients; and, combined with solubility-driven changes, altered future upwelled source waters in the CCS. The results presented here suggest that projections that resolve coastal processes are necessary for adequate representation of the magnitude of projected change in carbon stressors in the CCS.

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In The News

How Dungeness crabs' complex lifecycle will be affected by climate change

UW News, Hannah Hickey

New research on the Pacific Northwest portion of the Dungeness crab fishery, which spans the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, projects how this crustacean will fare under climate change. Results show that by the end of this century, lower-oxygen water will pose the biggest threat. And while these crabs start as tiny, free-floating larvae, it’s the sharp-clawed adults that will be most vulnerable, specifically to lower-oxygen coastal waters in summer.

28 Oct 2021

Three UW teams awarded NSF Convergence Accelerator grants for misinformation, ocean projects

UW News

Three separate University of Washington research teams have been awarded $750,000 each by the National Science Foundation to advance studies in misinformation and the ocean economy. One team is led by APL-UW's Scott David and another by Jan Newton.

1 Oct 2021

NOAA awards $41 million for ocean observing

NOAA News, Jennie Lyons

The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) office announces new 5-year agreements with its 11 regional systems including NANOOS, the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems, Jan Newton, Executive Director. The year one award to NANOOS is ~$4M.

14 Sep 2021

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Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center