Scott W. Nixon
Graduate School of Oceanography
University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI
Phone: (401) 874-6803; Fax: (401) 874-6207; Email:


Position: Professor of Oceanography (since 1969)


Administrative Experience:

Director, Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program, 1984-2000


Education: B.A. (Biology) University of Delaware, 1965

Ph.D. (Botany-Ecology) University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,

1970 (under Prof. H. T. Odum)


Research Interests:

The ecology of estuaries, bays, lagoons, marshes and other coastal ecosystems. My research is focused on the fundamental processes that determine the primary and secondary productivity of these environments, with particular emphasis on the importance of nutrient enrichment and other forms of anthropogenic impact. The study of this general problem has required the use of comparative and historical field data, autecological rate measurements, numerical simulation modeling, and manipulative ecosystem-level experiments.


Teaching Experience:

Introduction to Oceanography (undergraduate)

Benthic Ecology (graduate) Ecological Systems Analysis (graduate)

Ecological Energetics (graduate) Estuarine Ecology (graduate)

Major Professor for 14 completed Ph.D. Theses and 11 MS Theses


Recent Awards:

Sea Grant Association (SGA) Distinguished Service Award given to select individuals in recognition of their outstanding ability to further the Sea Grant mission, March 2001

New England Estuarine Research Society award for outstanding contributions to estuarine

research, May 2000

B. H. Ketchum Award for excellence in coastal research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, September 1992


Recent Professional Activities:

Co-editor-in-Chief, ESTUARIES the journal of the Estuarine Research Federation (ERF)

Chair, External Review Committee for the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality and Ecosystem Model



National Research Council, Ocean Studies Board

National Research Council, Committee to Review the Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Analysis (Chair)

National Research Council, Committee on the Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem (Vice Chair)

Technical Review Team, Hillsborough River Minimum Flow Determination, Southwest Florida

Water Management District, 1999

Advisor to the United Kingdom on Eutrophication of U.K. estuaries and the North Sea

Outfall Monitoring Task Force, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection




American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

American Society of Environmental History Estuarine Research Federation (ERF)


Selected Publications:

Books (selected)

Kremer, J. N. and S. W. Nixon. 1978. A Coastal Marine Ecosystem: Simulation and Analysis. Ecological Studies, Vol. 24. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg. 210 pp. Translated

into Japanese by Kisaburo Nakata. Published by Seibutu Kenkyusha Publishers, 1987.

Book Chapters (selected)

Nixon, S. W. 1992. Quantifying the relationship between nitrogen input and the productivity of marine ecosystems, pp. 57-83. In: M. Takahashi, K. Nakata, and T. R. Parsons (eds.), Proceedings of Advanced Marine Technology Conference (AMTEC), Vol. 5, Tokyo,


Technical Reports (selected)

Nixon, S. W., H. Ducklow, E. Hofmann, G. Smith, and G. Gross. 1999. Review of the Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Model. Chesapeake Bay Research Consortium, Edgewater, MD.

Nixon, S. W. 1995. Metal inputs to Narragansett Bay A history and assessment of recent conditions. Section I: A history of metal inputs to Narragansett Bay, 109 p. Section II:

Recent metal inputs to Narragansett Bay, 76 p. Rhode Island Sea Grant, Narragansett, RI.

Scientific Journals: (selected)

Nixon, S. W. 1987. Chesapeake Bay nutrient budgets a reassessment. Biogeochemistry 4:77-90.

Nixon, S. W. 1988. Physical energy inputs and the comparative ecology of lake and marine ecosystems. Limnol. Oceanogr. 33(4, part 2):1005-1025. Translated into Japanese by Masumi Yamamuro and distributed separately by Ocean Research Inst., University of Tokyo.

Nixon, S. W., S. L. Granger, D. I. Taylor, P. W. Johnson, and B. A. Buckley. 1994. Subtidal volume fluxes, nutrient inputs, and the brown tide an alternate hypothesis. Est. Coast. Shelf Science 39(3):303-312.

Nixon, S. W. 1995. Coastal marine eutrophication: A definition, social causes, and future concerns. Ophelia 41:199-219.

Nixon, S. W., S. L. Granger, and B. L. Nowicki. 1995. An assessment of the annual mass balance of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in Narragansett Bay. Biogeochemistry 31:15-61.

Nixon, S. W. et al. 1996. The fate of nitrogen and phosphorus at the land-sea margin of the North Atlantic Ocean. Biogeochemistry 35:141-180.

Nixon, S. W. 1997. Prehistoric nutrient inputs and productivity in Narragansett Bay. Estuaries 20(2):253-261.

Nixon, S. 2001. Some reluctant ruminations on scales (and claws and teeth) in marine mesocosms. In: R. H. Gardner, W. M. Kemp, V. S. Kennedy, and J. E. Petersen (eds.), Scaling Relations in Experimental Ecology. Columbia University Press, NY. In press.