Dr. Karen McLaughlin

Karen McLaughlin is a Senior Scientist and is currently serving as the Southern California Bight Regional Marine Monitoring Coordinator, coordinating monitoring for sediment and water quality for the Bight. She received her B.S. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University in 1999, and her Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University in 2005. Dr. McLaughlin joined SCCWRP in March 2007. Her current research includes integrating and optimizing monitoring programs to characterize the vulnerability of coastal marine ecosystems to multiple anthropogenic stressors. Her research interests include nutrient cycling and source tracking in freshwater, estuaries, and coastal waters, understanding factors and processes controlling nearshore ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH), and understanding ecosystem response to anthropogenic nutrient loading.

Education

Ph.D., Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, 2005

B.S., Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 1999

Areas of Expertise

Dr. McLaughlin is a biogeochemist specializing in nutrient source tracking and the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and organic matter in streams, estuaries, and coastal waters. Her dissertation research at Stanford University focused on the development and application of stable isotope tracers to understand the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients in watersheds, estuaries, and coastal waters. Her post-doctoral work at the University of California, Irvine focused on identification of fecal indicator bacteria sources and loading into Newport Bay, California. Her current research includes understanding factors and processes controlling nearshore ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) and standardizing monitoring practices to characterize spatial and temporal trends in OAH, understanding ecosystem response to anthropogenic nutrient loading, and determining “natural background” sources and cycling of nutrients via atmospheric deposition, groundwater inputs, assimilation, nitrogen fixation, and denitrification.

Professional Experience

Senior Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2007-Present

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Irvine. Irvine, CA. 2006-2007

Graduate Research Assistant, Stanford University Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences. Stanford, CA. 1999-2005

Undergraduate Research Assistant, Penn State University Department of Geosciences. State College, PA. 1997-1999

Honors and Awards

Stanford University-US Geological Survey Graduate Fellow (2001)

Schlanger Ocean Drilling Program Fellow (2000)

Stanford University McGee Research Grant Recipient (2000)

Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2000)

Distinction Graduate, Department of Geosciences, Penn State University (1999)

Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society (1998)

Teas Scholarship for Geological Sciences, Penn State University (1998)

Drake Scholarship for Summer Field School, Penn State University (1998)

Trustees Scholarship for Geological Sciences, Penn State University (1997)

Golden Key National Honor Society (1996)

Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society (1995)

Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation

California Estuarine Research Society

Selected Presentations and Conference Proceedings

McLaughlin, K., C. Deutsch, F. Kessouri, M. Howard, J. McWilliams, M. Sutula. 2017. Understanding the Impact of Anthropogenic Nutrients on Coastal Ocean Nutrient and Carbon Cycling. Coastal and Estuarine Research Society Biennial Conference. Providence, RI.

McLaughlin, K. 2017. Monitoring Acidification in Coastal and Estuarine Waters. California State Water Resources Control Board. Office of Information Management & Analysis Brown Bag Seminar.

McLaughlin, K. 2016. Acid Ocean? The What, When, Where and Why of Ocean Acidification. Teen Science Café. Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA.

Virmani, J., M. Huelsenbeck, K. McLaughlin. 2015. pH Sensors from the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. California Current Acidification Network, Ocean Acidification Round Table Webinar.

McLaughlin, K., N.P. Nezlin, S.B. Weisberg. 2015. An Evaluation of Potentiometric pH Sensors in Coastal Monitoring Applications. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Biennial Meeting. Portland, OR.

McLaughlin, K., M.D.A. Howard, N.P. Nezlin, C.D.A. Beck, G. Roberston. 2014. Unraveling the Impacts of Wastewater Effluent on Coastal Nitrogen Cycling: Lessons from the Southern California Bight. California Estuarine Research Society Fall Meeting. Bodega Bay, CA.

McLaughlin K, M.D.A. Howard, N.P. Nezlin, C.D.A. Beck, G. Robertson. 2014. Untangling the Impacts of Wastewater Effluent on Coastal Nitrogen Cycling: Lessons from the Southern California Bight. Ocean Sciences Meeting. Honolulu, HI.

McLaughlin, K., 2014. Ocean Acidification: Causes and Implications of Changing Ocean Chemistry. Back Bay Science Center Lecture Series, Newport Beach, CA.

McLaughlin, K., 2014. Ocean Acidification: Causes and Implications of Changing Ocean Chemistry. Coastal Commission, Newport Beach, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, N. Nezlin, A. Sengupta, L. Stratton. 2013. Nutrients or Biological Response: How Should We Assess Eutrophication in Estuaries? Thoughts based on work in southern California. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Biennial Meeting, San Diego, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, S. Birosik, R. Dagit, J. Crooks, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, L. Stratton, 2013. Riverine Nutrient Inputs and Extent of Estuarine Eutrophication in the Southern California Bight: Results from the Bight 08 Regional Survey. California Water Quality Monitoring Collaboration Network Webinar.

McLaughlin, K. Untangling the Effects of Anthropogenic Versus Natural Nutrient Sources in the Southern California Bight. 2013. University of California, Irvine. Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Seminar.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, S. Bergquist, J. Crooks, R.Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnson, and L. Stratton. 2012. Magnitude and Extent of Eutrophication in Southern California Bight Estuaries: Results of the Bight '08 Regional Survey. Presentation at Headwaters to Ocean Annual Conference. San Diego, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, S. Bergquist, J. Crooks, R.Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnson, and L. Stratton. 2012. Magnitude and Extent of Eutrophication in Southern California Bight Estuaries: Results of the Bight '08 Regional Survey. Presentation at California Estuarine Research Society Conference. Long Beach, CA.

Publications


Journal Articles

Bednarsek, N., R.A. Feely, E.L. Howes, B.P.V. Hunt, F. Kessouri, P. Leon, R. Lischka, A.E. Maas, K. McLaughlin, N.P. Nezlin, M. Sutula, S.B. Weisberg. 2019. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Toward Synthesis of Thresholds of Ocean Acidification Impacts on Calcifying Pteropods and Interactions With Warming. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:227.

McLaughlin, K., N.P. Nezlin, S.B. Weisberg, A.G. Dickson, J.A.T. Booth, C.L. Cash, A. Feit, J.R. Gully, M.D.A. Howard, S. Johnson, A. Latker, M.J. Mengel, G.L. Robertson, A. Steele, L. Terriquez. 2018. Seasonal patterns in aragonite saturation state on the southern California continental shelf. Continental Shelf Research 167:77–86.

Nezlin, N.P., K. McLaughlin, J.A.T. Booth, C.L. Cash, D.W. Diehl, K.A. Davis, A. Feit, R. Goericke, J.R. Gully, M.D.A. Howard, S Johnson, A. Latker, M.J. Mengel, G.L. Robertson, A. Steele, L. Terriquez, L. Washburn, S.B. Weisberg. 2018. Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Chlorophyll Concentration in the Southern California Bight. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123:231-245.

Howard, M.D.A., R.M. Kudela, K. McLaughlin. 2017. New insights into impacts of anthropogenic nutrients on urban ecosystem processes on the Southern California coastal shelf: Introduction and synthesis. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 186:163-170.

Kudela, R.M., A.J. Lucas, K. Hayashi, M.D.A. Howard, K. McLaughlin. 2017. Death from below: Investigation of inhibitory factors in bloom development during a wastewater effluent diversion. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 186:209-222.

McLaughlin, K., N.P. Nezlin, S.B. Weisberg, A.G. Dickson, J.A. Booth, C.L. Cash, A. Feit, J.R. Gully, S. Johnson, A. Latker, M.J. Mengel, G.L. Robertson, A. Steele, L. Terriquez. 2017. An evaluation of potentiometric pH sensors in coastal monitoring applications. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 15:679-689.

McLaughlin, K., A. Dickson, S.B. Weisberg, K. Coale, V. Elrod, C. Hunter, K.S. Johnson, S. Kram, R. Kudela, T. Martz, K. Negrey, U. Passow, F. Shaughnessy, J.E. Smith, D. Tadesse, L. Washburn, K.R. Weis. 2017. An evaluation of ISFET sensors for coastal pH monitoring applications. Regional Studies in Marine Science 12:11-18.

McLaughlin, K., N.P. Nezlin, M.D.A. Howard, C.D.A. Beck, R.I.M. Kudela, M.J. Mengel, G.L. Robertson. 2017. Rapid nitrification of wastewater ammonium near coastal ocean outfalls, Southern California, USA. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 186:263-375.

McLaughlin, K., S.B. Weisberg, A.G. Dickson, G.E. Hofmann, J.A. Newton, D. Aseltine-Neilson, A. Barton, S. Cudd, R.A. Feely, I.W. Jefferds, E.B. Jewett, T. King, C.J. Langdon, S. McAfee, D. Pleschner-Steele, B. Steele. 2015. Core principles of the California Current Acidification Network: Linking chemistry, physics, and ecological effects. Oceanography 28:160-169.

Barton, A., G.G. Waldbusser, R.A. Feely, S.B. Weisberg, J.A. Newton, B. Hales, S. Cudd, B. Eudeline, C.J. Langdon, I. Jefferds, T. King, A. Suhrbier, K. McLaughlin. 2015. Impacts of coastal acidification on the Pacific Northwest shellfish industry and adaptation strategies implemented in response. Oceanography 28:146-159.

Rippy, M.A., R. Stein, B.F. Sanders, K. Davis, K. McLaughlin, J.F. Skinner, J. Kappeler, S.B. Grant. 2014. Small Drains, Big Problems: The Impact of Dry Weather Runoff on Shoreline Water Quality at Enclosed Beaches. Environmental Science and Technology 48:14168-14177.

Howard, M.D.A., M. Sutula, D.A. Caron, Y. Chao, J.D. Farrara, H. Frenzel, B. Jones, G. Robertson, K. McLaughlin, A. Sengupta. 2014. Anthropogenic nutrient sources rival natural sources on small scales in the coastal waters of the Southern California Bight. Limnology and Oceanography 59:285-297.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, L. Stratton. 2014. A regional survey of the extent and magnitude of eutrophication in Mediterranean estuaries of Southern California, USA. Estuaries and Coasts 37:259-278.

McLaughlin, K., J.A. Sohm, G.A. Cutter, M.W. Lomas, A. Paytan. 2013. Phosphorus cycling in the Sargasso Sea: Investigation using the oxygen isotopic composition of phosphate, enzyme-labeled fluorescence, and turnover times. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 27:375-387.

Elsbury, K.E., A. Paytan, N.E. Ostrom, C. Kendall, M.B. Young, K. McLaughlin, M.E. Rollog, S. Watson. 2009. Using oxygen isotopes of phosphate to trace phosphorus sources and cycling in Lake Erie. Environmental Science and Technology 43:3108-3114.

Book Chapters

Schiff, K.C., K. McLaughlin, S.L. Moore, Y. Cao. 2019. Southern California Bight. in: C. Sheppard (ed.), World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation pp. 465-482. Academic Press. London, UK.

Technical Reports

Nezlin, N.P., K. McLaughlin, A.T. Booth, C.L. Cash, D.W. Diehl, K. Davis, A. Feit, R. Goericke, J.R. Gully, M.D.A. Howard, S. Johnson, A. Latker, M.J. Mengel, G.L. Robertson, A. Steele, L. Terriquez, L.i.b.e. Washburn, S.B. Weisberg. 2017. Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Chlorophyll Concentration in the Southern California Bight. Technical Report 998. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Martz, T., K. McLaughlin, S.B. Weisberg. 2015. Best Practices for autonomous measurement of seawater pH with the Honeywell Durafet pH sensor. Technical Report 861. California Current Acidification Network. Santa Barbara, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula. 2014. Estimating Wet and Dry Deposition of Nitrogen to Southern California Streams. Technical Report 837. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, J. Cable, P. Fong. 2013. Eutrophication and Nutrient Cycling in Santa Margarita River Estuary: A Summary of Baseline Studies for Monitoring Order R9-2006-0076. Technical Report 635. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, N.P. Nezlin, L. Stratton. 2012. Southern California Bight 2008 Regional Monitoring Program: VIII. Estuarine Eutrophication. Technical Report 711. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, N.P. Nezlin, L. Stratton. 2012. Southern California Bight 2008 Regional Monitoring Program: VIII. Estuarine Eutrophication (Appendix A). Technical Report 711.A. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, N.P. Nezlin, L. Stratton. 2012. Southern California Bight 2008 Regional Monitoring Program: VIII. Estuarine Eutrophication (Appendix B). Technical Report 711.B. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, N.P. Nezlin, L. Stratton. 2012. Southern California Bight 2008 Regional Monitoring Program: VIII. Estuarine Eutrophication (Appendix C). Technical Report 711.C. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, N.P. Nezlin, L. Stratton. 2012. Southern California Bight 2008 Regional Monitoring Program: VIII. Estuarine Eutrophication (Appendix D). Technical Report 711.D. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, J. Cable, P. Fong. 2011. Eutrophication and Nutrient Cycling in Buena Vista Lagoon, Carlsbad, California. Technical Report 638. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, J. Cable, P. Fong. 2011. Eutrophication and Nutrient Cycling in Loma Alta Slough, Oceanside, California. Technical Report 630. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, J. Cable, P. Fong. 2011. Eutrophication and Nutrient Cycling in San Elijo Lagoon, Encinitas, California. Technical Report 636. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, J. Cable, P. Fong. 2010. Eutrophication and Nutrient Cycling in Famosa Slough: A Summary of Baseline Data for Monitoring Order R9-2006-0076. Technical Report 629. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Fetscher, A.E., K. McLaughlin. 2008. Incorporating bioassessment using freshwater algae into California's Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP). Technical Report 563. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula. 2007. Developing nutrient numeric endpoints and TMDL tools for California estuaries: An implementation plan. Technical Report 540. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Annual Report Articles

Sengupta, A., M. Sutula, K. McLaughlin, M.D.A. Howard, L.L. Tiefenthaler, T. Von Bitner. 2013. Terrestrial nutrient loads and fluxes to the Southern California Bight, USA. in: K.C. Schiff, K. Miller (eds.), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project 2013 Annual Report pp. 245-258. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., M. Sutula, L. Busse, S. Anderson, J. Crooks, R. Dagit, D. Gibson, K. Johnston, L. Stratton. 2013. A regional survey of the extent and magnitude of eutrophication in Mediterranean estuaries of southern California, USA. in: K.C. Schiff, K. Miller (eds.), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project 2013 Annual Report pp. 223-244. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Howard, M.D.A., M. Sutula, D. Caron, Y. Chao, J.D. Farrara, H. Frenzel, B. Jones, G. Robertson, K. McLaughlin, A. Sengupta. 2012. Comparison of natural and anthropogenic nutrient sources in the Southern California Bight. in: S.B. Weisberg, K. Miller (eds.), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project 2012 Annual Report pp. 29-48. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

McLaughlin, K., J.A. Sohm, G.A. Cutter, M.W. Lomas, A. Paytan. 2011. Phosphorus cycling in the Sargasso Sea: Investigation using the oxygen isotopic composition of phosphate, enzyme labeled fluorescence, and turnover times. in: K.C. Schiff, K. Miller (eds.), Southern California Coastal Water Research Project 2011 Annual Report pp. 323-334. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.