Dr. Thacker received his M.S. (1967) and Ph.D (1971) degrees in Physics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his B.S. (1965) in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Institute of Technology. After postdoctoral work at University of Chicago's Department of Geophysical Sciences and the National Center for Atmospheric Research he came to AOML in 1972 as a National Research Council Resident Research Associate and was retained by AOML as a research scientist in 1974.
His interests include numerical modelling and data assimilation as well
as statistical analysis of data and statistical forecasting. His work
with irregularly spaced computational meshes for storm-surge forecast
modelling was recognized with the Senior U.S. Scientist Award by the
Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung in 1983. He is also known for his
contributions to the "adjoint method" for fitting numerical models to
data. His recent work has focused on statistical methods for describing
and predicting climatological fields, and he is currently exploring the
possibility of estimating subsurface salinity using measurements of
surface salinity and subsurface temperature.