Joseph Pedlosky

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Joseph Pedlosky
Born (1938-04-07) April 7, 1938 (age 86)
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Scientific career
FieldsOceanography, fluid dynamics
InstitutionsWoods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago
ThesisThe stability of currents in the atmosphere and the ocean (1963)
Doctoral advisorJule Charney
Theoretical developments in ocean circulation theory, 1991

Joseph Pedlosky (born April 7, 1938) is an American physical oceanographer.[1] He is a scientist emeritus at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Pedlosky was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1985. He is the author of the textbooks Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Ocean Circulation Theory, and Waves in the Ocean and Atmosphere: Introduction to Wave Dynamics.[2]


Pedlosky grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. He completed his Ph.D. in 1963 under the supervision of Jule Charney at MIT.

In 1966, as a young assistant professor at MIT, he refused to sign the Massachusetts Teachers' Oath ultimately bringing the case to the state supreme court. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court invalidated the legislation in 1967 in its ruling Pedlosky v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]


Pedlosky has made fundamental contributions in the study of baroclinic instability and the thermal structure of the ocean, particularly the oceanic thermocline.

Awards and honors[edit]

1996 Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


  1. ^ a b Pedlosky, Joseph (10 January 2012). "Pedlosky Receives 2011 Maurice Ewing Medal" (PDF). Eos. 93 (2): 22. Bibcode:2012EOSTr..93...22P. doi:10.1029/2012eo020016.
  2. ^ Pedlosky, J., Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Springer-Verlag, 1987.
  3. ^ 352 Mass. 127 (1967) 224 N.E.2d 414
  4. ^ National Academy Member Directory
  5. ^ "WHOI Scientist to Receive American Meteorological Society Award", WHOI News, 2005


External links[edit]