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Monterey Peninsula College
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Monterey, CA 93940


School of Marine Sciences: focus in Marine and Atmospheric System Modeling and Analysis

College or University: University of Massachusetts

Type of degree: M.S.

Brief overview of program: The inherent variability of marine and atmospheric systems is due in part to the complexity of nonlinear interactions that occur in a coupled ocean/atmosphere system. Analytical and numerical models, particularly those that use multi-dimensional numerical simulations, have become powerful tools for analysis of such systems. Applications of such models range from optimizing environmental remediation and restoration, to coastal and watershed development, to fisheries management. Models of marine systems have traditionally emphasized physical components including fluid motions; energy, heat and salinity budgets; interactions with atmospheric forcing; and paleoclimatic changes. More modern state-of-the-art models now also include primary and secondary production, biomass distribution, hydrological cycling, air/sea gas exchange, and nutrient and contaminant distributions. Global scale models are used to understand past, present, and future global changes in the ocean-atmosphere system. Data assimilation has become an essential element of state-of -the-art models that are used for system forecasting. Observational data are used for establishing initial and boundary conditions and updating model fields in many cases in real time. Historical and real-time data is obtained from remote and in situ sensors that are deployed in operational and experimental configurations. The MASMA Option will provide a framework in which students can learn the skills required to develop and implement interdisciplinary models, as well as use them for the analysis of marine and/or atmospheric systems. MASMA students will be expected to become familiar with basic concepts in physical, biological, and chemical oceanography; atmospheric sciences, and measurements. MASMA student research will focus in one or more of the following areas: Atmosphere-Ocean coupling, oceanic modeling, atmospheric modeling, weather/climate variability, ecosystem modeling/analysis, environmental modeling/analysis, spatial/temporal variability in marine and/or atmospheric systems, realistic simulation and prediction, chemical, biological, and physical process modeling, data assimilation techniques, model/data synthesis, numerical/analytical synthesis, theoretical/numerical synthesis, interdisciplinary/integrative modeling, data acquisition and modeling, data systems development, and information management systems development.

Website: Click here for program website

Description of Facilities: Center for Atmospheric Research: Conducts experimental and analytical research in the atmospheric and space sciences, including hardware and software system development. A major objective is the global mapping and monitoring of the ionosphere, for which CAR developed an advanced digital high - frequency Doppler radar system, or Digisonde. A network of 60 stations around the world is collaborating to develop a valid global ionospheric model. CAR continues to make Digisonde observations in the polar cap region to measure the flow pattern of ionospheric plasma. CAR is also developing, in cooperation with the Phillips Laboratory and other NSF - funded groups, new measuring campaigns and analysis programs to study the equatorial ionosphere and its effect on radio systems and communication. CAR's laboratories are equipped with measuring equipment for the development of analog and digital electronic systems, such as spectrum analyzers, circuit analyzers, and oscilloscopes.

Program Point of Contact: Frank Colby


Department: Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences

Institution address: University of Massachusetts School of Marine Sciences 265 Riverside Street
                             Lowell,MA 01854

Phone: 978 934 3898


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .