John Rybczyk

John Rybczyk

Overview and Professional Qualifications

john rybczykDr. John Rybczyk is an associate professor and graduate program chairman for the Department of Environmental Science at Huxley College within Western Washington University. Dr. Rybczyk has been working on Skagit climate science since 1999 with a main focus on the estuarine systems within Padilla and Skagit bays. He has been developing integrated field and modeling programs designed to predict the effects of sea level rise on coastal ecosystems.

Dr. Rybczyk’s early efforts were directed towards determining the effects of sea level rise on the Venice Lagoon in Italy, and the Ebro Delta in Spain. Since that time, his field and modeling efforts have been focused on the Mississippi River Delta and the delta systems of the Pacific Northwest including Willapa Bay, Padilla Bay, and the Stillaguamish Delta.

The results of our research efforts serve to guide the course of restoration and management efforts in the greater Skagit River delta system. In 2002 we established, and now continue to maintain and monitor, a network of long-term sea level rise/wetland elevation monitoring stations in Padilla Bay.

Research Interests
Listing of Dr. Rybczyk’s Skagit research interests

  • Modeling the effects of climate change and sea level rise on estuarine systems
  • Plant response to rising sea levels
  • Estuarine sediment dynamics

 Listing of Dr. Rybczyk’s other research interests

  • Wetlands ecology and management
  • Invasive species in estuarine systems
  • Wetlands for stormwater and wastewater treatment

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., oceanography, Department of Oceanography, Louisiana State University 1997
  • M.S., environmental science, Department of Biology, Eastern Michigan University, 1990
  • B.S., fisheries and wildlife biology, Michigan State University, 1981

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Founding member of the Skagit Climate Science Consortium
  • Society of Wetlands Scientists
  • Estuarine Research Federation

Contact information
Dr. John Rybczyk
Department of Environmental Science
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225
Tel: 360–650-2081

Additional Information
For additional information on John Rybczyk and to access reports not connected directly to climate change in the Skagit, please visit: