Derek Fong's research in environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics focuses on understanding the fundamental transport and mixing processes in the rivers, estuaries and the coastal ocean. He employs different methods for studying such fluid processes including laboratory experiments, field experiments, and numerical modeling. His research projects include studying lateral dispersion, in stratified coastal flows, the fate and transport of freshwater in river plumes, advanced hydrodynamic measurement techniques, coherent structures in nearshore flows, bio-physical interactions in stratified lakes, fate of contaminated sediments, and secondary circulation and mixing in curved channels.
Derek teaches a variety of classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Some of the classes he has offered include Mechanics of Fluids; Rivers, Streams and Canals; Transport and Mixing in Surface Waters; Introduction to Physical Oceanography; Mechanics of Stratified Fluids; Dynamics of Lakes and Reservoirs; Science and Engineering Problem Solving using Matlab; the Future and Science of Water; Hydrodynamics and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics.
Prior to coming to Stanford, Derek spent five years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution studying the dynamics of freshwater plumes for his doctoral thesis. He has also served as a senior lecturer at the University of Washington, Friday Harbor Laboratories in Friday Harbor, Washington.