Ryan Smith

Staff page photo for Ryan Smith of AOML

Research Highlights

Research Interests

Circulation patterns and water mass transport through the Intra-Americas Sea.

Fisheries Oceanography in the US Caribbean.

Regional circulation of south Florida coastal waters.

Implementation of moored oceanographic sensor arrays.

Development of real-time oceanographic monitoring stations.

Lowered and hull-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler applications.

Ryan Smith

Oceanographer, Physical Oceanography Division


4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149

“With seagoing oceanography, there’s nothing more exciting than when the ship’s main engines throttle back and you have arrived at your destination. Deploying gear from a rolling deck, all of your team’s lab preparations have led to this day.  Instruments, suspended from a cable three miles below the surface, measure something unique. These data, captured from the deep ocean, hold the potential to teach us more about our oceans and our planet.”

Ryan Smith is an oceanographer with AOML’s Physical Oceanography Division (PhOD). In addition to his work with climate-related research projects such as AOML’s Western Boundary Time Series and the Southwest Atlantic MOC project, Ryan’s interests include interdisciplinary oceanography, pairing physical oceanographic research with other disciplines such as chemical and biological oceanography.

Ryan has led cross-line office research efforts with NOAA fisheries scientists examining the effects of ocean currents on the larval recruitment pathways of economically important fish species. He has also worked closely with researchers in AOML’s Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division (OCED) and at the University of Miami to study the circulation characteristics of the south Florida coastal ocean how the effects of Everglades restoration and water management impact water quality on the southwest Florida Shelf, in Florida Bay, and along in Florida Keys reef tract.

Current Work

Western Boundary Time Series (WBTS)

Southwest Atlantic MOC (SAM)

Interdisciplinary projects (South Florida ecosystems / fisheries oceanography)

Download Full CV

2010, M.S. Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

1994, B.S. Marine Science and Biology (Chemistry Minor), University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

  1. Hooper, J.A., M.O. Baringer, and R.H. Smith. Hydrographic measurements collected aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H Brown, 3-18 December 2019: Western Boundary Time Series cruise AB1912 (RB1907). NOAA Data Report, OAR-AOML-86, 207 pp., https://doi.org/10.25923/pqzf-fb12 2023
    Ref. 4325
  2. Hooper, J.A., M.O. Baringer, and R.H. Smith. Hydrographic measurements collected in 2021 during Western Boundary Time Series cruises in the Florida Current aboard the UNOLS Ship R/V F.G. Walton Smith (FC2104, FC2105). NOAA Data Report, OAR-AOML-87, 84 pp., https://doi.org/10.25923/remh-dz79 2023
    Ref. 4326
  3. Johns, W.E., S. Elipot, D.A. Smeed, B. Moat, B. King, D.L. Volkov, and R.H. Smith. Towards two decades of Atlantic Ocean mass and heat transports at 26.5°N. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 381(2262):20220188, https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2022.0188 2023
    Ref. 4342

NOAA Administrator’s Award 2017

For surveying Cuban waters and establishing a groundbreaking multinational Atlantic bluefin tuna research partnership with Cuban scientists.

Unit Citation 2017

For supporting a successful science mission which brought the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster to Havana, Cuba, making her the first commissioned US Government vessel to dock in Cuba in over 50 years.

US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal 2007

Western Boundary Time Series – Meridional Overturning Circulation Team

For long-term research, design and support of an observing system for the Florida Current and the Meridional Overturning Circulation.