Jason Goodman grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, which provided
him with plenty of opportunity to study atmosphere-ocean interaction at
his favorite surf spots. His first practical experience with
meteorology came in third grade, when he and a friend used a toy
anemometer to measure the wind speeds during the approach of Hurricane
Iwa. (The experiment required two scientists, one to hold the
anemometer, the other to keep the former from being knocked over by the
wind. The scientists’ mothers were not consulted beforehand.) Goodman
was also an avid amateur astronomer as a boy. He attended Carleton
College in Northfield, Minn., and earned a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. Goodman is active in a very broad range of
research projects, all involving the interaction of atmosphere, ocean,
and ice. These include attempts to understand the chaotic monthly to
decadal variability of the modern-day atmosphere and ocean;
investigation of the “Snowball Earth” hypothesis, which suggests that
Earth’s oceans may have been totally frozen from pole to pole around
600 million years ago; and a serious study of “planetary oceanography,”
investigating the behavior of liquid water oceans beneath the
ice-covered surfaces of several of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.