Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Updates: August-September 2021

    Posted on October 20th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Students have started returning to campus as has the RUCOOL team, with our faculty teaching seven courses this semester. You will note from several of the highlights below, that it’s great to be back on campus.


    • Rutgers is working with the NOAA Weather Forecasting Office (WFO) Philadelphia to develop wave measurements from High Frequency radar (HF-Radar).  The HF-Radars traditionally provide surface current measurements that are utilized by NOAA and US Coast Guard.  Another measurement that is under development is wave height, period and direction.  Recently WFO Philadelphia utilized HF-Radar data to analyze the swell from Hurricane Larry and forecaster Nicholas Carr mentioned it in his rip current forecast discussion.
    • RUCOOL’s Joe Brodie and Josh Kohut, together with Doug Zemeckis of NJAES, issued the final report on the 2021 Partners in Science Workshop: Identifying Ecological Metrics and Sampling Strategies for Baseline Monitoring During Offshore Wind Development, sponsored by NJBPU. The full report is available at:
    • Grace Saba is collaborating with NJDEP to organize a workshop focused on developing an ocean acidification monitoring network for the state of NJ. The virtual workshop is scheduled to be held in November.
    • R/V Rutgers Captain Chip Haldeman was able to save a flotilla of Rutgers Crew boats and docks from destruction during the Hurricane Ida Flooding. The full story of Chip’s heroics is here.
    • Zdenka Willis, president of the Marine Technology Society (MTS), visited RUCOOL in August to kick off the early semester for our new cohort of Masters of Operational Oceanography graduate students. Zdenka shared her history, career advice and benefits of joining the MTS Society with our students. In the following weeks, the students completed their glider and HF-Radar School as preparation for the fall semester.
    • On August 5, Rutgers President Holloway and School of Engineering Dean Farris hosted Congressman Frank Pallone and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. They were introduced to glider RU33 while discussing RUCOOL’s history of state-of-the-art research with NOAA and others.
    • Oscar Schofield chaired the committee working on the reorganization of Rutgers Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science Institute.


    • The RIOS summer students completed their work in person at DMCS and Haskin Labs this August. The students completed authentic research experiences that ranged from undersea volcanoes, shellfish aquaculture, to offshore wind.  Our students spanned topics from our ancient ocean to present day and from the high Arctic to the coastal seas around Antarctica.  We thank the university support and all involved who helped ensure that these students could work in a safe and productive environment all summer.
    • Rutgers has been providing a leadership role on the NOAA led Hurricane Glider weekly meetings during this 2021 hurricane season. The team is charged with comparing in situ data with NOAA, Navy and university ocean models to evaluate which work best in different situations, with the ultimate goal being to improve hurricane intensity forecasts.
    • The RUCOOL Education Team posted new Data Labs widgets (ecosystems, profiles, update pH and pCO2).
    • The Education Team presented Icy Adventure to the 4H STEM ambassadors and 4H from Home The team also presented two sessions on robotics (gliders and drones) to the 4H STEM ambassadors group.


    • Scott Glenn is co-chair of NOAA’s Science Advisory Board Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG). This group is focused on a congressionally authorized committee whose charge is to track NOAA progress on the Weather Research and Forecast Innovation Act.
    • Scott Glenn is co-chair  of the Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) study. This group of 149 subject matter experts is charged with creating a decadal report for future investments in NOAA to support better forecasts authorized by the 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
    • RUCOOL completed the 2021 International Challenger Glider mission in the Caribbean with the deployment of RU29 from St. Thomas US Virgin Islands. The glider sampled the Windward Islands to collect critical ocean data in hurricane prone regions, while simultaneously building international partnerships. This was the first time an ADCP (currents) and Microrider (turbulence) were deployed on a glider in this region. The datasets will be a focus of study this winter.
    • Oscar Schofield Chaired a National Academy Sciences Study “Mid-Course Assessment of NSF progress on 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research”.  The public version of the report is being released in October.
    • Rutgers begins its next Antarctic field expedition in October. Rutgers is anchoring the Palmer LTER cruise, which is one of the only two ship expeditions by the United States this pandemic year for the Southern Ocean.

    Student Awards

    • RUCOOL Grad Student Schuyler Nardelli won the MTS Student Poster competition at this year’s Oceans 2021 meeting in San Diego.
    • Grad Student Liza Wright-Fairbanks won the Walter Munk Scholar award at OCEANS 2021 in San Diego. Established in 2019, the Award honors Walter Munk’s legacy of daring exploration and discovery through ocean scientific and technology research, ocean education or ocean conservation; open to those from any country or territory.
    • In addition to Schuyler and Liza, the NJ Student Section won the MTS award for outstanding Student Section at the Oceans 2021 San Diego meeting. This section includes student members from Rutgers, Stockton University, Stevens Inst. of Technology and Monmouth University.
    • Rachel Davitt (co-mentored by Grace Saba and Kim Thamatrakoln), along with two other students, won Best Student Poster Presentation for the Rutgers Research Internships in Ocean Science (RIOS), NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Becca xx (mentored by Travis Miles) received runner-up.

    Newly Funded Research 

    • NASA, “Southern ocean carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Rapid Response”, O. Schofield ($472,00 over 2 years)
    • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “Surface Water and Ocean Topography”, O. Schofield ($502,584 over 2 years)
    • NSF, “GOALI: Generation v. Degradation: Striking the optimal balance for wind farm profitability via digitization, predictive and prescriptive analytics,” A. Ezzat (SOE), J. Brodie, M. Mousa (Cognite), ($225,000 over 3 years)
    • NSF, “SWIFT: Enabling Spectrum Coexistence of 5G mmWave and Passive Weather Sensing,” N. Mandayam (SOE), C.T. Wu (SOE), R.Q. Wang (SOE), J. Brodie, ($750,000 over 3 years)

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

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences 

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: MTS Oceans 2021 San Diego, MARACOOS Annual meeting, Lewes Yacht Club MARACOOS OceansMap Meeting, RIOS 2021, Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) Meeting, LTER Annual Meeting, Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array (GO-BGC) Annual Meeting, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) Vulnerability Assessment Workshop, Montclair State University Clean and Sustainable Energy Summit 2021.


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