Dr. Nelson got his B.A. (Biology) from UC Santa Cruz in 1986, and Ph.D. (Biology) from UCSB in 1994. He worked as a postdoc and independent researcher at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (now the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences) from 1994 to 2000. Since 2000 he has worked as a researcher in the Institute for Computational Earth System Science and the Earth Research Institute at UCSB.
I use optical tools to study aspects of the carbon cycle in the marine environment. Lately my primary interest has been in quantifying and characterizing the optical properties of dissolved organic matter in the ocean, but I also am interested in phytoplankton community structure, and the physical optics of plankton cells and particles in the environment. I primarily do observations at sea but have also worked with ocean color and infrared remote sensing and autonomous vehicles.