Bret M. Webb, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE
University of South Alabama
150 Jaguar Drive, SH3142
Mobile, AL 36688 USA
Phone: (251) 460-6174
Fax: (251) 461-1400

Research Positions

Currently seeking multiple graduate students to fill positions at the MS, PhD, and Postdoc levels. Research topics include: living shorelines, beach and tidal inlet dynamics, barrier island response to extreme events, groundwater impacts to coastal lagoons, and infrastructure resilience. Research assistantships are available. Click here for more information.

Current Research Assistants

PhD Students
Garland Pennison


MS Students
Kelsey Carpenter
Sean McQuagge
Elizabeth Winter
Jackie Wittmann


Undergraduate Students
Ian Cox

Former Students

MSCE Students
Patrick Hautau (2018)
Marshall Hayden (2018)
Kate Haynes (2018)
Justin Lowlavar (2017)
Bryan Groza (2016)
Kari Servold (2015)
Chris Marr (2013)
Richard Allen (2013)
Miyuki Matthews (2012)


Post Docs
Jon Risinger
Jungwoo Lee

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The Jag Ski is a personal-watercraft-based system for collecting hydrographic data in shallow areas, or those areas where accessibility constraints make launching a normal watercraft impossible. The Jag Ski collects georeferenced bathymetry (depth measurements), current velocity profiles and discharge, and near-surface water quality indicators, as well as concentrations of refined fuel and crude oil, by using a number of instruments with integrated Global Positioning System capability. An onboard PC and waterproof LCD touchscreen display offer navigation support and a software interface for the onboard equipment. A four-wheel-drive utility vehicle is used to tow and launch the Jag Ski in remote areas, and is also used for rapidly collecting topographic elevations over large areas.


Existing Capabilities

  • RTK DGPS Positioning
  • Depth Soundings (Bathymetry)
  • Discharge Measurements
  • Velocity (current) Profile Distributions
  • Near-surface maps of:
    • Water Temperature
    • Conductivity (salinity, density)
    • Dissolved oxygen
    • Turbidity
    • Chlorophyll-a
    • pH
    • Refined fuel
    • Crude Oil
    • Chromophoric dissolved organic material (CDOM)
    • Wind speed and direction
    • Air temperature
    • Barometric pressure
    • Relative humidity

Extended Capabilities

  • Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) profiling
    • This provides information about the vertical stratification of the water column
    • The CTD data also provide sound speed corrections for acoustic data


New Capabilities

  • An R.M. Young meteorological station was added to the Jag Ski in August 2011. The met station provides georeferenced measurements of wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure. These sensors have been integrated with the YSI PSK 1500 to complete the full SeaKeeper system.


Equipment Description

  • 2008 Kawasaki Ultra LX
  • 2008 Kawasaki Mule 300 4×4
  • Magellan ProMark 500 RTK DGPS System (Base & Rover)
  • SonTek River Surveyor M9 ADP
  • SonTek River Surveyor M9 RTK DGPS
  • YSI Portable SeaKeeper 1500 (YSI 6600v2 sonde, Turner Designs C3 UV fluorometer)
  • R.M. Young Meteorological Station
  • YSI CastAway CTD Profiler
  • KVH GyroTrac
  • VarTech Touchscreen LCD
  • SubConn Cables & Connectors
  • Underwater Kinetics Waterproof Cases
  • Four 12VDC, 18AH Dry-Cell Batteries by Battery Source


Jag Ski Videos

  • This is a series of short video clips describing the capabilities of the University of South Alabama Jag Ski. The video footage was part of AIDT’s On The Job television show, which originally aired in April 24, 2011. The segments were filmed at Dog River Park in Southwest Alabama in March 2011. The entire video can be seen here.





Representative Measurements

  • Bathymetry
  • Flows
  • Near-Surface Water Chemistry


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