Grad Student Lodise Deconstructs Drifter Velocities to Understand How Wind Influences Currents
February 20, 2019
Many ocean forecast models treat the upper 1 meter of the water column, which plays a central role in ocean material transport, as a single layer. However, recent research shows that currents act differently at various depths within this meter.
The use of ocean drifters is the oldest way to measure currents, and recent design advances are providing more detailed and accurate ocean current data than ever. John Lodise analyzes data from these improved drifters to observe near-surface currents at multiple depths and explores how wind-driven velocities influence them. “If we know exactly how the wind is going to affect surface currents, then we can analyze forecasted wind and wave conditions to better predict the movement of surface currents and the pollution being transported by them,” he said.
John is a Ph.D. student with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a GoMRI Scholar with Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment II (CARTHE II).
John grew up on Long Island, New York where the ocean was part of his life through fishing, beach trips, and surfing. John, as an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, explored scientific fields related to ocean science and ultimately chose physical oceanography. “Being able to understand the movement and circulation of the ocean is so important to solving many of today’s environmental issues,” he said. “I thought physical oceanography was an avenue where I could really make a contribution to the current scientific understanding.” He graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science and concentrations in atmospheric science and physical oceanography.