Melvin Stern


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) announces with great sorrow the death of former employee Melvin Stern on February 2, in Philadelphia, PA.  He was 81.

Born January 22, 1929 and a native of New York City, Melvin received his B.E.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from Cooper Union in 1950; a M.S. in Physics from Illinois Tech in 1952; and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from M.I.T. in 1956.

Melvin was a prominent scientist whose groundbreaking theories on ocean currents are still the benchmark today. He began his career at WHOI as a research assistant in Physics from 1951- 1952. On military leave to serve in the Air Force from 1952-1957, he returned to WHOI in the same position from 1957- 1964. He then went on to the University of Rhode Island and then to Florida State University in 1987 where he was a professor for many years.

A pioneer in his field, Melvin was one of the founders of the WHOI Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) program, which he continued to attend through 2004.  He returned for the program’s 50th year celebration in 2008 and then again last summer to deliver a lecture at a special dinner for Lou Howard.  He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.

He is survived by Astrid, his wife of 55 years, and children Darienne Stern, Amanda Stern and Philip Stern.

Further information will be posted when available.