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Category Archives: Scientist Interviews

Frank Marks, Sc.D. honored with the OAR Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating the meaning and value of NOAA-related science and research to non-scientific audiences. The award is named in honor of Dr. Daniel L. Albritton, a retired OAR scientist, who proved to be one of the most effective communicators of NOAA research and related science.

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AOML Celebrates First All-Female P-3 Science Team

AOML hurricane researchers supported nearly all of the 50 missions NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft flew into eight tropical systems in 2018’s hurricane season, collecting data to help improve forecasts for future storms. The final flight into Hurricane Lane would make history for several reasons. Hurricane Lane was part of NOAA’s first hurricane deployment out of Hawaii, and one of those flights was led by the first all-female science crew on the flying laboratory. For Women’s History Month, we are proud to highlight this milestone and recognize the members of the first all-female science crew on a hurricane flight.

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Cruising for Conservation: Restoring Florida’s Water Quality

 In August 2018, a team of biological oceanographers and ecologists set sail on the R/V Walton Smith to sample the waters of Biscayne Bay & Florida Bay. AOML has conducted regular interdisciplinary observations of south Florida coastal waters since the early 1990’s. We spoke with Chris Keble, the lead scientist for AOML’s South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Research project, to learn more.

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NOAA Open House 2018

May 10-12, 2018, AOML partnered with our colleagues on Virginia Key to welcome south Florida students and families to a NOAA Open House! The interactive scientific experience centered around three NOAA entities: AOML, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Miami Weather Forecast Office, as well as the University of Miami Rosenstiel School,  MAST Academy, and the ANGARI Foundation. Over the three-day event, 859 guests learned more about the federal agency that provides daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, climate monitoring, fisheries management, coral monitoring, and coastal restoration.

The interactive experience rotated from the NOAA facilities on Virginia Key, to the University of Miami Rosenstiel School’s Experimental Fish Hatchery and SUSTAIN research facility. Participants also visited the MAST Academy Land SHARC and Weather on Wheels mobile outreach programs, and learned about weather forecasting from NOAA weather forecasters.

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Meet our Summer 2017 Interns

Each year, NOAA AOML welcomes a group of talented students from across the country to join our team by way of summer internships. Seventeen highly motivated students have traveled to our laboratory in Miami to work alongside leading oceanic and atmospheric research scientists. NOAA internships, scholarships, and fellowships provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to develop and fine tune their research and field skills, giving them a glimpse of what it takes to establish a professional career in a federal research laboratory. Each student works side by side with a AOML mentor, who help to advise the students along their chosen scientific career paths and various research projects. Here at AOML, these career opportunities include jobs in physical oceanography, ocean chemistry and ecosystems, hurricane research, engineering, computer science and communications.

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Volcano Spewing Carbon Dioxide Drives Coral to Give Way to Algae

Scientists from NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies at the University of Miami have documented a dramatic shift from vibrant coral communities to carpets of algae in remote Pacific Ocean waters where an undersea volcano spews carbon dioxide.

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Behind the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season: Wind Shear & Tropical Cyclones

With the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season underway, researchers are pointing to the strong presence of El Niño as the major driver suppressing the development of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin. But what specific conditions are associated with El Niño that lead to a less than ideal environment for tropical cyclone development? Through research and observation, hurricane researchers know strong environmental wind shear is a major factor affecting potential hurricane development and growth. This hurricane season, AOML researchers are delving further into the relationship between wind shear and tropical cyclones.

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AOML Enlists Citizen Scientists for International Ocean Sampling Day 2015

Researchers with AOML’s Environmental Microbiology Lab joined a global effort to sample the smallest members of the ocean ecosystem on June 21 during International Ocean Sampling Day. Organized and led by the European Union’s MicroB3 organization and the Ocean Sampling Day Consortium, Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) is a simultaneous sampling campaign of the world’s oceans and coastal waters. These cumulative samples, related in time, space and environmental parameters, contribute to determine a baseline of global marine biodiversity and functions on the molecular level.

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Veteran oceanographer, Dr. Molly Baringer, selected as AOML’s next deputy director

Dr. Molly Baringer, AOML deputy director

AOML is pleased to announce Dr. Molly Baringer as AOML’s next deputy director. Molly officially began her new position on May 18 after serving in an acting capacity since October, 2014.

Molly is a veteran sea-going oceanographer and has led numerous research projects during her 21-year tenure at AOML. Her research portfolio is strongly rooted in the Atlantic Ocean, linking ocean circulation patterns and changes to global and regional climate patterns. She skillfully manages research teams and projects, and forges partnerships with national and international research institutions, including the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Environmental Research Council in the UK, among others, to bring AOML science to bear.

Molly’s research expertise includes measuring the strength of the Western Boundary Current in the North Atlantic, monitoring the meridional overturning circulation in the North Atlantic as part of the RAPID/MOCH program, managing high-density XBT observations in the Atlantic, and leading repeat hydrography and coastal carbon dioxide surveys. Molly has served in leadership roles on more than 29 hydrographic programs since 1998, including the role of chief scientist on more than a dozen of these cruises.

Molly’s scientific leadership extends well beyond the ship’s helm. Molly has served on more than 21 national and international panels including as secretary of the Physical Oceanography Section of the American Meteorological Society and the International Argo Panel, regularly providing advice and direction on national science policy and program management, including stakeholder negotiations.


Molly received her doctoral degree in 1994 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the field of physical oceanography. Molly is also a graduate of NOAA’s Leadership Competency Development Program and the National Weather Service’s Building Leaders for a Solid Tomorrow (BLAST) program. Molly also served as AOML’s acting deputy director in 2010, during the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, skillfully managing resources to support AOML’s scientific response.

Molly has published over 77 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Science, the Journal of Climate, and the Journal of Geophysical Research, to name a few. Over the past ten years she has also served as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous externally funded research programs totalling more than $30 million. She is also the recipient of the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal award for her role on the Western Boundary Time Series Team.

As deputy director of AOML, Molly works very closely with AOML’s director, Dr. Robert Atlas, and supervises the administrative, facilities and security, computer network, and communications staff within the Office of the Director. Molly will also continue her scientific leadership roles for the Western Boundary Times Series and Argo projects.

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AOML Scientists Featured in Special Women’s History Month Issue of Oceanography Magazine

Women’s History Month is celebrated annually in March and pays tribute to the generations of women whose contributions made a historical impact on society. It is also a month to honor women who are currently working hard to make positive innovations and impressions on the world.

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