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Joel Baker, Ph.D.

Professor and Port of Tacoma Chair in Environmental Engineering
Center for Urban Waters (CUW) 312
Phone Number
Campus Mailbox



Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Minnesota
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Minnesota
Environmental Chemistry
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry


Professor Joel Baker holds the Port of Tacoma Chair in Environmental Science and is the Science Director of the Center for Urban Waters. He earned a B.S. degree in Environmental Chemistry from SUNY Syracuse (1982) and M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1988) degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Baker's research interests center about the transport of organic contaminants in the environment, specifically atmospheric transport and deposition, aerosol chemistry, the dynamics of contaminant transport in estuaries, and modeling the exposure and transfer of bioaccumulative chemicals in aquatic food webs. He teaches courses in water quality modeling, environmental chemistry, and quantitative methods.


He has co-authored over one hundred papers on contaminant cycling in the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters, and edited Atmospheric Deposition of Contaminants to the Great Lakes and Coastal Waters (SETAC Press, 1997). He was the lead author on a scientific review of PCBs in the Hudson River, a contributing author to the Pew Oceans Commission report Marine Pollution in the United States, and a member of the NRC's Committee on Oil in the Sea, chaired the New York Harbor Model Evaluation Group, advised the European Commission on water quality modeling, and served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Dr. Baker is a member of the Puget Sound Partnership Science Panel, which he chaired from 2007-2009.

CV / Resume
Selected Publications
  1. Georgiadis, N. and J.E. Baker (2023) A multidecadal oscillation in precipitation and temperature series in pronounced in low flow series from Puget Sound streams.  J. Amer. Water Resource Assn., in press.
  2. James, C.A., Francis, T.B., Baker, J.E., Georgiadis, N., Kinney, A., Magel, C., Rice, J., Roberts, T. and Wright, C.W. (2022) A boundary spanning system supports large-scale ecosystem based management. Environmental Science and Policy, 133, 137-145..
  3. Kaya, D., Sowers, K., Demirtepe, H., Stiell, B., Baker, J. and Imamoglu, I. (2019). Assessment of PCB contamination, the potential for in situ microbial dechlorination and natural attenuation in an urban watershed at the East Coast of the United States.  Science of the Total Environment, 683, 154-165.
  4. Barboza, L.G.A., João P.G.L. Frias, J.P.G.L., Booth, A.M., Vieira, L.R., Masura, J., Baker, J.E., Foster, G., and L. Guilhermino (2019) Microplastic pollution in the marine environment.  World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation, Chapter 18,