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Meet the Director

Scott Doney

Since its founding in 2000, the Ocean and Climate Change Institute has steadily gained a comprehensive understanding of the ocean’s effects on the climate. Today we continue to close the information gap by aggressively developing new instrumentation that will make it possible to routinely measure some key climate variables in some of the most remote and hostile locations of the ocean. Scientists have made significant progress in deciphering the patterns of climate change variability, El Nino and its far-reaching effects being an excellent example.   Yet we still have significant progress to make to better understand the many connections between the oceans, atmosphere and ice sheets that affect climate and sea level.  Our goal is to target specific geographic regions for fieldwork and analysis that will significantly enhance our observations and understanding of the complexities of the climate system.

Better models of the ocean will be critical in understanding ocean circulation and its future effects on climate and we are actively engaged in this pursuit. The quality of these improved models can be evaluated using geological reconstructions of ocean circulation during past climates when conditions were very different from today.  In that way we can assess the model reliability, as we attempt to use them to predict future states of ocean circulation and climate. Improved models can also better assess ambiguities in the proxy reconstructions, and lead to a better understanding of regional climate variability, past and present.

The Ocean and Climate Change Institute can best make progress by taking an approach that focuses on the value-added science and engineering that WHOI does best.  Securing funds from non-federal sources can significantly improve our ability to sustain key oceanic climate time series in the presence of a risk-adverse, time-dependent federal funding arena.  The Institute has selected a few key themes and is working to make substantial contributions to knowledge in these areas through innovative research and sustained measurement programs. Capitalizing on our strong educational culture, the Institute aims to be a magnet for highly qualified graduate and post-graduate researchers and a catalyst for mentoring the next generation of climate scientists.

Scott Doney is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He graduated with a BA in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a PhD in chemical oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography in 1991. He was a postdoctoral fellow and later a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, before returning to Woods Hole in 2002. He was awarded the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 2000, WHOI Ocean and Climate Change Institute Fellow in 2003, a Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2004, the WHOI W. Van Alan Clark Sr. Chair in 2007, and a AAAS Fellow in 2010. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed research publications and wrote a text book on data analysis and modeling methods for the marine sciences. His science interests span oceanography, climate and biogeochemistry, with particular emphasis on the application of numerical models and data analysis methods to global-scale questions. Much of his research focuses on how the global carbon cycle and ocean ecology respond to natural and human-driven climate change. A current area of interest is on ocean acidification due to the invasion into the ocean of carbon dioxide and other chemicals from fossil fuel burning. He was the inaugural chair of the U.S. Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Program, and he is currently on the steering committees for the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program and the U.S. CLIVAR/CO2 Repeat Hydrography Program and a convening lead author for the Oceans and Marine Resources chapter of the U.S. 2013 National Climate Assessment.

Last updated: October 9, 2012