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Jim Ledwell Selected as a Fellow of The Oceanography Society

Jim Ledwell Jim Ledwell Selected as a Fellow of The Oceanography Society

October 17, 2017

Jim Ledwell, Emeritus Research Scholar at the Wood Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has been named a 2017 Fellow of The Oceanography Society (TOS). The society noted his many achievements, in particular his “seminal contributions to the understanding of oceanic mixing,” as the reason for his selection.

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition.” said Ledwell. “Many of my colleagues, especially at WHOI, are at least as deserving and a source of endless motivation and inspiration for me.”

Ledwell is best known for pioneering the use of perfluorinated tracers to study ocean mixing and circulation, driven largely by the need to understand  the role of the ocean in Earth’s climate system. After earning a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982 and studying for two years as a National Research Council Fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Ledwell worked at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory from 1984 to 1990 before moving to WHOI and conducting tracer experiments on more than 50 research cruises. In 2007 he was awarded the Alexander Agassiz Medal by the National Academy of Sciences, and in 2011 he was made a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

In a letter supporting Ledwell’s nomination for the award, WHOI physical oceanographer John Toole wrote, “I consider Jim to be the ideal scientist and leader: brilliant, diligent, soft spoken and understated.” Ledwell will be formally recognized by TOS on February 13, 2018, during a ceremony in Portland, Oregon, at the semiannual Ocean Sciences.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit