Thursday, January 17, 2008
Architect of Argo Observation Program Takes American Meteorological Society's Top Honor
Sverdrup Gold Medal recognizes Dean Roemmich's pioneering work in ocean/atmosphere interactions
Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San DiegoDean Roemmich, a physical oceanographer at Scripps Oceanography and the leading force behind a revolutionary array of ocean-monitoring sensors called Argo, will receive the Sverdrup Gold Medal from the American Meteorological Society during the society's 88th annual meeting in New Orleans on Jan. 23.
The organization cited Roemmich's "contributions to the measurement and understanding of the ocean's role in climate, and for leading the development and implementation of the Argo array."
The network of floats, which reached full observational capacity in fall 2007, is creating an unprecedented profile of the world's oceans. The floats make measurements of the ocean's "vital signs" - temperature, salinity and velocity - with a level of detail never before achieved. Data from the Argo program, which its leaders hope will last several decades, could transform the way scientists understand the oceans and its effects on climate.
Scripps physical oceanographer and Argo Steering Team co-chair Dean Roemmich
"Not only am I personally thrilled to be selected for the Sverdrup Gold Medal, this award recognizes and encourages the strongly collaborative effort and broad international cooperation of the Argo float program," said Roemmich, who joined Scripps in 1981.
The Argo network recently reached full observational capacity in October after eight years of deployments by research vessels, commercial ships and aircraft. More than two dozen countries have been part of the worldwide effort in a variety of capacities. The 3,000 operational floats in the Argo array provide coverage of the oceans at every 3 degrees latitude and longitude, on average.
Schematic of SOLO floats used in Argo program.
"This is an award very richly deserved," said Howard Freeland, the co-chair of the international Argo Steering Team with Roemmich. "Nothing of what we achieved would have been possible without the leadership shown by Dean right from the moment he proposed this idea. A large team has brought the Argo array into existence, but overwhelmingly we owe a lot to Dean Roemmich."
The Sverdrup Gold Medal, named for former Scripps Director Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, a pioneer in the field of oceanography, is one of the Society's highest honors. The award is given to researchers who make outstanding contributions to the scientific knowledge of interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere.
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Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today in 65 countries. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $155 million from federal, state and private sources. Scripps operates one of the largest U.S. academic fleets with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.
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