Upper Ocean Dynamics

Team

Lead Scientist:
Nick Shay
Lynn “Nick” Shay, Ph.D.

Dr. Lynn “Nick” Shay's interests include: experimental and theoretical investigations of the ocean response and coupled air-sea interactions during strong atmospheric forcing events (tropical and extratropical cyclones, atmospheric jets, fronts), coastal oceanographic process studies, radar oceanography using HF radar and satellite altimetry, aircraft-based measurement systems.

Phone: 305.421.4075
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Assistant Scientist:
Benjamin Jaimes
Benjamin Jaimes, Ph.D.

Currently in an assistant scientist appointment in the Rosenstiel School’s division of Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, Benjamin Jaimes holds interests that include hurricane-ocean interactions; eddy-mean flow interaction in the ocean; the dynamics of the enigmatic Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current and associated eddy field. Jaimes earned his M.Sc. (1995) in Computer Science (numerical modeling) from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and a M.Sc. (2005) and a Ph.D. (2009) in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the University of Miami.

Phone: 305.421.4734
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Research Associates:
Jodi Brewster
Jodi Brewster

Jodi Brewster is a Research Associate working in Dr. Nick Shay's Upper Ocean Dynamics Laboratory (UOD). In conjunction with Dr. Shay, she helped to develop the Eastern Pacific ocean heat content that is used in the SHIPS model for hurricane intensity forecasting. Currently, she is preparing for the beginning of hurricane season, in both the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic basin, when members of the UOD will be deploying AXBT, AXCTD, and AXCP probes from P3 Hurricane Hunter aircrafts over the Gulf of Mexico to study the upper ocean before, during, and after intense storms.  Brewster received her B.S. in Marine Science with minors in Mathematics and Computer Science at Coastal Carolina University. Subsequently, she moved to CA to earn her M.S. in Marine Science-Physical Oceanography at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Her thesis investigated the evolution of an iron-enriched patch of water in the Southern Ocean as a part of the Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFEX). While in CA, she studied the oceanography impacts on bioluminescence at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and temperature forecasting in Monterey Bay.

Phone: 305.421.4746
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Jorge Martinez
Jorge J. Martinez-Pedraja

Jorge J. Martinez-Pedraja works as a research associate in the Upper Ocean Dynamics Laboratory. He shares responsibility for the full operation of the High-Frequency WERA radars, working on the diagnosis and correction of a range of problems including software; hardware; logistics; maintaining the data archives; processing surface current data and working on information analysis. Martinez-Pedraja received his M.Sc. in Metal Physics from the School of Physics at the University of Havana, Cuba. He worked at the same time in a thesis related to Physical Oceanography, "Statistical correlation between meteorological variables and the regime of waves in the North Coast of the City of Havana.”

Phone: 305.421.4739
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Graduate Students:
Johna Rudzin
Johna Rudzin

Johna Rudzin entered into the MPO division at RSMAS in 2012. She graduated Florida State University with B.S. in Meteorology with Honors in 2012. She became interested in meteorology while living in the Florida Keys after experiencing a number of hurricanes. Her father, a fisherman, helped foster her interest in how different weather and ocean phenomena affect the fisheries and furthermore how the fisheries can help us understand processes that occur in the ocean and the air-sea interface. Upon graduation from FSU, she completed her undergraduate honors thesis at COAPS. The thesis ultimately became her first publication into the AMS journal of Earth Interactions. This project influenced her interest in physical oceanography. Currently, she is working on research that involves using fish-borne satellite tags to obtain oceanographic observations during passage of hurricane Felix. The ultimate goal is to evaluate the role of fish-borne satellite tags as a viable and cost effective option to observe physical oceanographic phenomena.

Phone: 305.421.4736
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Josh Wadler
Josh Wadler

Joshua Wadler started his PhD in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at RSMAS in 2016 as a NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He will be working with Dr. Nick Shay’s Upper Ocean Dynamics Lab, trying to understand hurricane intensification processes. His research interests include coupled air-sea reactions, boundary layer processes, hurricane response to vertical-shear, and how vertical velocity perturbations can influence the overall dynamical structure of the storm. Wadler graduated May 2016 Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oklahoma. During his undergrad, he did research with the National Severe Storms Lab of NOAA studying vorticity generation in bow echoes. He spent the summer 2015 at the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) of NOAA studying the structure of deep convection in hurricane as part of his NOAA Hollings internship, and remains in close collaboration with HRD.

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Luna Hiron
Luna Hiron

Luna became a graduate student at the University of Miami/RSMAS in the fall of 2016. She works at the Upper Ocean Dynamics Lab under Professor Nick Shay and she is studying the Loop Current variability and eddy separation dynamic through in situ data and modeling. Her fields of interest are large and mesoscale ocean dynamics, eddy formation, mixing processes, advective heat transport and their role in climate. Luna obtained her BSc in Oceanography from Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC, Florianopolis, Brazil) in 2010. In her undergraduate thesis, developed in collaboration with the European University Institute for the Sea (IUEM, Brest, France), she validated the ARMOR3D product in the South Atlantic through comparisons and statistical analysis with in-situ data (Argo and CCHDO) and two global ocean models (SODA and GLORYS2V3). After undergrad, Luna worked for 17 months as a research technician for the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). There she worked on the evaluation of an eddy resolving global model and estimated the advective heat flux from eddies at BATS.

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Past Students:
Matthew Archer
Matthew Archer

Matt graduated from RSMAS in April 2016 with a PhD from the MPO graduate program.  His research focused on quantifying the Florida Current jet structure and its instabilities, using surface current observations obtained by high frequency (HF) radar.  This western boundary current dominates the ocean circulation within the Straits of Florida, so studying how it changes in time and space is important for many applications, from fisheries management to oil spill mitigation.  Currently, Matt is a post-doctoral research scientist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  At UNSW, he continues his investigation of western boundary currents, by studying the dynamics of the East Australian Current.  He is also managing the installation of two new HF radar sites along the New South Wales coastline.

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Claire McCaskill
Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill graduated from RSMAS in December 2015 with a MSc in the MPO program.  Her research explored the impact of the upper ocean on air-sea fluxes and tropical cyclone intensity change in the North Pacific Ocean.  She was a meteorology major from Arlington, Texas, but more importantly she is the loudest and proudest member of the fighting Texas Aggie class of 2010. Whoop! While at Texas A&M University, Claire researched the summer diurnal cycle in southeast Texas. She was also part of a team that forecasted, launched soundings, and operated Doppler radar for the College Station area. Claire is currently employed by the National Weather Service as a SCEP.  Currently, she is working for NOAA in Washington DC.

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Ryan Schuster
Ryan Schuster

Ryan Schuster graduated from RSMAS with an MSc in December, 2013. Her thesis was titled "The Near-Inertial Response to Hurricane Ivan" and explored internal wave dynamics in the wake of the storm. After leaving Miami, she worked as a Scientific Programmer for NOAA Meteorological Development Laboratory.  Currently, she is a software developer at Industry Dive in Washington DC.

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Patrick Meyers
Patrick Meyers

Patrick Meyers received his Master's degree in 2011. While a member of the UOD, Patrick created the Systematically Merged Atlantic Regional Temperature and Salinity (SMARTS) Climatology to be used in the Ocean Heat Content algorithm. He validated satellite-derived OHC with thousands of in-situ temperature profiles. The methodology used to create the SMARTS Climatology is being applied to create background climatologies for the other ocean basins. Since graduating, Patrick has been a Faculty Research Assistant at the University of Maryland. His current research focuses on developing and validating NOAA's operational precipitation algorithm for AMSR2.

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Dr. Eric Uhlhorn
Dr. Eric Uhlhorn

Dr. Eric Uhlhorn received his PhD degree from the University of Miami in 2008. His dissertation was titled "Oceanic mixed layer balance during hurricane Lili". He worked for the Hurricane Research Division of the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorology Laboratory in Miami.  Currently, he is working for Air WorldWide out of Boston.

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A. Brad Parks

A. Brad Parks received his Masters of Science degree from the University of Miami in 2008. His thesis was titled "Observing coastal ocean eddy variability using HF radar in the Florida Straits". He is currently employed as a Senior Scientist with Integral Consulting Inc. in Maryland.

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Michelle Mainelli

Michelle Mainelli received her Masters of Science degree from the University of Miami in 2000. Her thesis was titled "Upper ocean effects on tropical cyclone intensity change". She is currently employed as the Chief of the Systems Integration Branch of NCEP Central Operations at NOAA National Weather Service .

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Tom Cook

Tom Cook received his Masters of Science degree from the University of Miami in 2000. His thesis was titled "Surface tidal current variability on the North Carolina Shelf observed with high frequency radar". He is currently employed as a Programmer/Analyst of HF Radar Theory and Algorithm for the Coastal Observing Research and Development Center at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA.

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Samuelraj (Daniel) Jacob

Samuelraj (Daniel) Jacob received his PhD degree from the University of Miami in 2000. His dissertation was titled "On the role of mesoscale ocean features on the tropical cyclone-induced response".

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Peng-Chen Zhang

Peng-Chen Zhang received his Masters degree from the University of Miami in 1994. His thesis was titled "Surface wave current interactions: A case study during SWADE".

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