PAOC Spotlights

John Marshall Receives AMS Haurwitz Prize

Thu January 28th, 2016
Cassie Martin

John Marshall, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Oceanography, recently accepted the American Meteorological Society’s 2016 Haurwitz Prize for his “seminal contributions to atmospheric, oceanic, and climate dynamics and the creation of innovative modeling tools and educational resources.”

“I’m very happy and honored to receive this award,” Marshall said. The annual prize is named in honor of Meteorologist Bernhard Haurwitz, who was known for his work in the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans as well as his dedication to education.

In addition to the prize, Marshall was invited to give the Haurwitz Memorial Lecture at this year’s American Meteorological Society (AMS) conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Marshall’s lecture focused on the role of the ocean in the climate system. More specifically, he discussed hemispheric asymmetries in climate and the role of the ocean in setting the position of the ITCZ, a band in tropical rainfall found just north of the equator.

Marshall studies the circulation of the ocean, its coupling to the atmosphere and the role of the oceans in climate. Specific research interests include ocean convection and thermohaline circulation, ocean gyres and circumpolar currents, geophysical fluid dynamics, climate dynamics and numerical modeling of ocean and atmosphere. He is the architect the MIT General Circulation Model (MITgcm) — an open-source numerical model used by a broad community of researchers around the world — and coordinator of Oceans at MIT, an umbrella organization dedicated to all ocean-related things across the Institute.

In addition to his research endeavors, Marshall co-designed ‘Weather in a Tank’, a signature feature of education in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). These educational tools enhance the undergraduate weather and climate curriculum, and have been adopted by many schools around the country.

Marshall is a fellow of the Royal Society and the American Meteorological Society. In 2014, he was honored with the Sverdrup Gold Medal of the AMS, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to our knowledge of interactions between the oceans and the atmosphere.