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  • RUCOOL Updates: October & November 2020

    Posted on December 15th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments

    As we near the end of the fall 2020 semester, our team remains healthy and productive having followed the Rutgers COVID-19 guidelines and our own procedures for staying safe. We wish you all a healthy and safe start to 2021.


    • RU COOL faculty continue to be involved in teaching 7 classes this Fall term.  Courses include: Software Bootcamp, Ocean Observing, Ocean Modeling and Synthesis, Biological Oceanography, Waves and Sediment Transport, Undergraduate Ocean Observing, Freshmen Oceanography House.
    • Grace Saba gave invited presentations at the New Jersey Water Monitoring Council meeting hosted by NJDEP and the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists annual meeting. Grace’s PhD student Emily Slesinger and undergraduate student Kernan Bates both presented a talk at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting.
    • The second cohort of the Masters in Operational Oceanography program is wrapping up its first semester. In addition to successfully engaging with remote learning, the students led the remote operations of an underwater glider, deployed for 2 months in the Caribbean.
    • Operational Oceanography Program Alumna Julia Engdahl was recently recognized by NOAA for her paper “Bringing Sea Level Rise to Life with GIS and Python”. Julia created a code-based animation of sea level rise from NOAA stations which was recently incorporated into NOAA’s National GeoPlatform.
    • The Ørsted ECO-PAM glider, RU34, conducted its second mission from October 3 through November 5. During that mission, it detected 17 tagged fish, along with humpback whales on 5 days and fin whales on 23 days. The glider was redeployed for its third mission on November 19, and detected its first North Atlantic Right Whale the next day. (link:
    • RU COOL was invited to film a 5-minute documentary on its ECO-PAM project with Ørsted as part of the AGU TV series associated with the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The video featured footage of the glider team, and interviews with Josh Kohut and Joseph Brodie. (link to video:


    • Scott Glenn chaired the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG) Task Team for the review of NOAA’s Response to Congress on the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP). The HFIP Review was approved by EISWG for submission to the SAB, and the SAB approved it for submission to the NOAA Administrator and Congress.   Scott Glenn was commended for his use of external Subject Matter Experts to strengthen the review, an approach that set a new bar for EISWG and was subsequently adopted by SAB.  Scott was appointed Acting Co-chair of the full EISWG, pending his approval by the full SAB.
    • The RUCOOL Glider Team was involved in deploying, piloting or recovering 11 gliders in October and November for 5 funded projects that include research on hurricane intensity in the mid-Atlantic and Caribbean, and whale migrations and water quality along NJ. The R/Vs Rutgers and Arabella were used extensively for deployment and recoveries out of Tuckerton. Data from all of these gliders can be found here.
    • Travis Miles is the regional lead, coordinating the deployment of gliders during hurricanes and tropical cyclones. The team captured ocean upwelling and cooling ahead of and during tropical storm Isaias, which lead to widespread damage and power outages throughout New Jersey. Investigations of the oceans feedback on the storm are ongoing.
    •  The Rutgers Hurricane Blog finished the 2020 hurricane season with 50 entries contributed by Scott Glenn and Travis Miles. The regional distribution of hurricane blog entries reflects the extremely active hurricane season experienced in the Gulf of Mexico (58% of entries), and the many scientific investigations this season will launch. In the Mid Atlantic, Hurricane Isaias was identified as a third type of MAB hurricane resulting in rapid co-evolution of the ocean and atmosphere.  We now have Isaias as an onshore storm resulting in coastal upwelling and rapid ocean cooling possibly contributing to storm weakening, Irene as continental shelf storm resulting in rapid mixing, ocean cooling and storm weakening, and Sandy as an offshore storm resulting in rapid downwelling that leaves the sea surface warm and promotes intensification.
    • Oscar Schofield was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Consortium of Ocean Leadership (2021-2023).
    • The RUCOOL Education team completed their online after school program in Boulder, Colorado, which was focused on teaching 6th graders about polar science.
    • RUCOOL invites you to read our Education Team’s blog on Antarctica Week at
    • The Education Team continues to work on the Broader Impacts Wizard and participate in an ARIS – Organization Research Impact Capacity (ORIC) Program with Purdue, Michigan State, University of Nebraska, U.C. Berkeley, and the University of Idaho.
    • The Data Labs Blog had numerous articles added that focus on Ocean Observing Education, storytelling with data, Python tutorials and examples of Labs.


    • Oscar Schofield was chosen by NSF-NASA-NOAA to co-chair the G7 Global Biogeochemical Array International Virtual Meeting in 2021.
    • Scott Glenn and Travis Miles continue to build the Caribe Corredores international partnership for improved hurricane forecasting working with Global Ocean Observing System’s regional alliance IOCARIBE. An OceanShots proposal was submitted to the U.S. National Academies’ Committee for the U.N. Ocean Decade in preparation for the broader January submission to UNESCO.


    • Emily Slesinger (PhD student, Saba) received the Best Student Oral Presentation Award at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting. Congratulations to Emily and her mentor, Grace Saba!
    • The Rutgers 4-H STEM Ambassador Team received the SEBS/NJAES Team Excellence Award. Congrats to Janice McDonnell, Christine Bean, Alesha Vega and the rest of the team!

    Newly Funded Research

    • University of Delaware (NOAA-IOOS), “Mid-Atlantic Glider Support of Hurricane Intensity Forecasts”, T. Miles ($443,749).
    • National Science Foundation Supplemental, “Engaging Faculty and Students in Learning with OOI Data Explorations”, J. McDonnell ($98,000).
    • Woods Hold Institute of Oceanography “Wind Mapping from HF RADAR Measurements”, H. Roarty ($59,587).

    Papers Published: (**Current or Former Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researchers)

    • Roarty, H., Glenn, S., Brodie, J., Nazzaro, L., Smith, M., Handel, E., Josh Kohut, Teresa Updyke, Larry Atkinson, William Boicourt, Wendell Brown, Harvey Seim, Mike Muglia, Haixing Wang, and Donglai Gong. (2020). Annual and seasonal surface circulation over the Mid-Atlantic Bight Continental Shelf derived from a decade of High Frequency Radar observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016368. DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016368
    • **Wright‐Fairbanks, E. K., Miles, T. N., Cai, W.‐J., Chen, B., & Saba, G. K. (2020). Autonomous observation of seasonal carbonate chemistry dynamics in the Mid‐Atlantic Bight. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016505. DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016505.
    • Seroka, G., Fredj, E., and Dunk, R. (2020). Analysis of Sea Breeze Types Using WRF and Lagrangian Methods: Update Using RU-WRF Configuration AquaWind, LLC
    • **Watkins, C., Daniel B. Whitt, D. (2020). Large-aspect-ratio structures in simulated ocean surface boundary layer turbulence under a hurricane. 2020. J. Phys. Oceanography 1–70. DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-20-0134.1
    • Eichhorn, M., Aragon, D., Shardt, Y., Roarty, H. (2020). Modeling for the performance of navigation, control and data postprocessing of underwater gliders. Applied Ocean Research 101.
    • Yousefvand, M., Wu, C.-T. M., Wang, R.-Q., Brodie, J., & Mandayam, N. (2020). Modeling the Impact of 5G Leakage on Weather Prediction. In 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum (5GWF) (pp. 291–296). IEEE.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    Though there were no in person meetings due to COVID, there were plenty of virtual meetings during the last two months which our team attended and/or presented: New Jersey Water Monitoring Council meeting hosted by NJDEP, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists annual meeting, Mid-Atlantic Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting, MARACOOS Annual Meeting, MTS Global Oceans, AGU Ocean Sciences, RODA Fisheries and Offshore Wind Energy: Synthesis of the Science, NYSERDA Workshop: State of the Science on Offshore Wind – Cumulative Impacts to Wildlife.