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Two WHOI Scientists Honored by Office of Naval Research

February 20, 2003

Assistant Scientists Christopher Reddy and Steven Jayne of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been honored as 2003 Young Investigators by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The two scientists are among 26 researchers around the country who will receive a total of $8.3 million in research grants. Two hundred twenty proposals were submitted for this year’s competitive program.

According to ONR, the Young Investigator Program supports basic research by exceptional faculty at U.S. universities and research institutions who received a Ph.D. or equivalent degree within the preceding five years. Grants to their institutions provide up to $100,000 per year for three years; additional funds may be made available to purchase equipment related to the investigator’s research. The funds may be applied to a variety of research costs, including salary, graduate student support, laboratory supplies, and operating costs.

ONR Young Investigators are considered among the best and brightest young academic researchers in this country. The awards recognize research achievements, potential for continued outstanding research efforts, and strong support and commitment from their respective universities and research institutions.

“It is a great honor to receive this award from the Navy which allows young scientists like myself to benefit from the Navy’s continued commitment to oceanographic research” said Jayne of the honor. ONR Young Investigators conduct research in a variety of science and engineering fields that ONR believes “are critically important to the technological superiority of the Navy and Marine Corps.”

“I’m also very pleased about this award,” Reddy added. “It’s a great honor for both Steve Jayne and myself. This award will allow me to perform some very exciting research that hopefully will be helpful to the Navy.”

Steven R. Jayne, an assistant scientist in the Institution’s Physical Oceanography Department, will use his ONR Young Investigator Award to study the statistics of the ocean’s circulation. His research will benefit efforts in operational ocean forecasting and will lead to improved modeling of the ocean.

Jayne received his S.B. degree in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences from MIT in 1994 and his Sc.D. in oceanography from the MIT/WHOI Joint Graduate Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering in 1999. He was a postdoctoral research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, from 1999 to 2001.

Jayne was appointed an assistant scientist at WHOI in September 2001. His research interests include developing statistical estimation techniques to map ocean velocity and heat content, developing new remote sensing techniques, and using ocean circulation models to understand the western boundary currents, eddies and gyres in the ocean. Jayne was recently presented the 2002 Zeldovich Award by the Committee on Space Research and the Russian Academy of Sciences. The award is named for the late Russian physicist Yakov Zeldovich and is presented to young scientists who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in their field of scientific research.

Christopher Reddy, an assistant scientist in the Institution’s Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, will use his ONR Young Investigator Award for comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography to investigate how signatures of sedimentary petroleum hydrocarbons change during microbial degradation in both laboratory and field samples. The research will enhance our ability to assess and manage hydrocarbons in the ocean. Reddy recently published results of a study of the 1969 West Falmouth oil spill using new laboratory Reddy received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Rhode Island College in 1992 and his Ph.D. in chemical oceanography from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate school of Oceanography in 1997. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a chemist at Ultra Scientific and the CEIMIC Corporation in Rhode Island. Reddy joined the WHOI staff in 1997 as a postdoctoral scholar and was appointed an assistant scientist in March 2000.

His research interests include applying and developing isotopic measurements for investigating the source, transport and fate of organic contaminants in coastal and oceanic waters.

WHOI is a private, independent marine research and engineering, and higher education organization located in Falmouth, MA. Its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, the Institution is organized into five departments, two interdisciplinary centers, and a joint graduate education program with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Office of Naval Research coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. It provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy and works with industry to improve technology manufacturing processes. It is based in Arlington, VA.