Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
areas of expertise: general circulation of the oceans, global ocean observations, ocean in climate, paleoclimate, time series analysis, earth sciences
Carl Wunsch is Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. His degrees are from MIT in mathematics (SB, 1962) and in geophysics (PhD, 1967). He has been on the MIT faculty since that time.
Wunsch’s interests have ranged over much of physical oceanography and its geophysical linkages, including internal waves, tides, the oceanic mesoscale, and mixing processes. In recent years, his interests have been primarily focused on determining and understanding the general circulation of the ocean and its climate effects, by exploiting the technologies which have evolved in the last two decades, including satellite altimetry, acoustic tomography, tracers and expendable moorings.
He chaired the committee which led to the launch of the TOPEX instrument, was an instigator of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment and cochaired both U.S. and International Steering Groups for that program. Wunsch has been a member of the TOPEX-/POSEIDON Science Team, and is a member of the Jason-1 and GRACE Science Teams.
He has published extensively on paleoclimate records of various sorts, and on many theoretical topics in climate and physical oceanography. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; a Foreign Member of the Royal Society; the recipient of the Macelwane, Ewing, and Bowie Medals of the American Geophysical Union; the Public Service Medal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Henry Stommel Research Prize of the American Meteorological Society; and the Prince Albert 1er Medal.
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