Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Henry Stommel Research Award

The American Meteorological Society named Professor James N. Moum as recipient of the 2014 Henry Stommel Research Award, granted to researchers in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the advancement of the understanding of the dynamics and physics of the ocean. Moum will receive the award at the Annual Awards Banquet in February 2014 during the 94th AMS Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta, GA.

Moum was also named a 2014 Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Election as a Fellow of the AMS is an elite honor. Only two-tenths of one percent of AMS members are approved through the Fellow nomination process.

Moum is honored "for fundamental research on quantifying and modeling vertical mixing in the ocean."

An expert in small-scale ocean mixing, Moum works with the Ocean Mixing Group at Oregon State University. The distributions of heat, salt and chemicals (including pollutants) are critical to the intensity of ocean currents, to long- and short-term climate variations, and the health of our environment. Each is injected into the ocean at various rates and at various global locations. Mixing in the ocean acts to smooth distributions of these properties and to reduce concentrations of pollutants to tolerable levels. Understanding how mixing occurs and at what rates it proceeds is important to understanding how the oceans work, and is especially needed before accurate numerical models of the ocean can be developed.

His research includes: long-term measurements of mixing at the Equator intended to elucidate mixing's role in seasonal and interannual variations in equatorial surface temperatures; studies of giant nonlinear internal waves; exploring form drag in the ocean (analogous to atmospheric mountain drag which extracts momentum from the atmosphere's boundary layer) so this phenomenon can be incorporated into ocean circulation models. The Ocean Mixing Group is actively involved in instrument development, continually trying to make more detailed and more quantitative observations of small-scale oceanic flows.

Fellow OSU oceanographers Dudley Chelton and John S. Allen previously received the Stommel Award from the American Meteorological Society in 2011 and 2005, respectively.

Professor James Moum

Professor James Moum

mooring in Pacific

Deep-sea equatorial mooring in Pacific Ocean with small instruments fueled by lithium batteries, to measure ocean mixing.


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