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.