2018 Steinbach Visiting Scholars

Professor Leif Thomas
Stanford University
Physical Oceanography
July 9-10

Dr. Leif N. Thomas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University. Thomas received a PhD in Physical Oceanography from the University of Washington, and was an Assistant Scientist at WHOI before joining the faculty at Stanford.  His research aims to understand the dynamics of submesoscale currents, highly energetic, time-variable flows that are associated with ocean fronts and eddies. These flows are ubiquitous in the upper ocean and strongly shape how water is exchanged between the sea surface and the deep, with implications for marine life, the dispersal of tracers, and the carbon and energy budgets of the ocean. Thomas’ research group at Stanford uses theory, computer modeling, and field observations to characterize the complex physics of submesoscale currents and assess their global-scale impacts on the ocean and climate.

Institution Talk
Mixing at the gyre boundary: Discovery of wave breaking and a new form of ocean turbulence at the Gulf Stream front  
July 9 at 3:05 p.m. in Clark 507

Department Talk
Interactions between near-inertial waves and balanced currents at ocean fronts
July 10 at 3:05 p.m. in Clark 507

Student Talk
Key concepts in the physics of submesoscale flows
July 10 at 12:00 p.m. in Clark 271

Professor Dawn Wright
Environmental Systems Research Institute and Oregon State Univeristy

2018 At-Large Steinbach Scholar
July 29-August 2

After 17 years as a professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University, Dr. Dawn Wright was appointed Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka “Esri”), a world-leading geographic information system (GIS) software, services and R&D company in October 2011. As chief scientist of Esri, Dawn works directly with the CEO on strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while also representing Esri to the national/international scientific community. She maintains an affiliated faculty appointment within the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State.
Dawn’s research interests include geographic information science; ocean informatics and cyberinfrastructure; benthic terrain and habitat characterization; and the processing and interpretation of high-resolution bathymetry, video, and underwater photographic images. She has authored or co-authored more than 150 articles and 10 books on marine GIS, hydrothermal activity and tectonics of mid-ocean ridges, and marine data modeling. Dawn has participated in over 20 oceanographic research expeditions worldwide, including 10 legs of the Ocean Drilling Program aboard the JOIDES Resolution, three dives in the deep submergence vehicle Alvin and two dives in Pisces V.
Dawn’s recent advisory board service includes the Science Advisory Boards of NOAA and the EPA, the Science Advisory Council of Conservation International, the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board, and many journal editorial boards. Dawn was the recipient of an NSF Early Career Award in 1995, was awarded a Fulbright to Ireland in 2004, the OSU Milton Harris Award for Excellence in Basic Research in 2005, and elected a Fellow National to the Explorers Club in 2013. In 2007 the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named her Oregon Professor of the Year. She is also a Fellow of the AAAS and the Geological Society of America, as well as a fellow of Stanford University's Leopold Leadership Program.
Dawn holds an Individual Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Physical Geography and Marine Geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.S. in Oceanography from Texas A&M, and a B.S. cum laude in Geology from Wheaton College (Illinois). 


Student Lunch and discussion
The Courage to Escape - a discussion on pursuing a career outside of academia 
Monday, July 30 at 12:00 p.m. in Clark 237

Institution-wide Seminar at WHOI
52 Million Points and Counting: A New Stratification Approach for Mapping Global Marine Ecosystems
Tuesday, July 31 at 3:00 p.m. in Clark 507

Public Lecture at MIT
Swells, Soundings, and Sustainability in the Oceans
Wednesday, August 1 at 5:30 p.m. in MIT 34-101

Dr. Ayana Johnson
New York University and Ocean Collectiv
Biological Oceanography
August 15 -17

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and founder and president of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm for conservation solutions grounded in social justice. She envisions and works toward a healthy ocean that supports food security, economies, and cultures.

Institution Talk
The Future of Ocean Conservation: Zoning, Cities, Triage, and Inclusion
Wednesday, August 15 at 3:00 p.m. in Redfield Auditorium

Department Talk
The Blue Halo Initiative: comprehensive, science-based, community-driven ocean management
Friday, August 17 at 2:00 p.m. in Redfield Auditorium

Student Talk
Informal Q&A session
Thursday, August 16 at 12:00 p.m. in the Marine Research Facility conference room #204