Lynne Talley

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Lynne Talley
Born (1954-05-18) May 18, 1954 (age 62)
Nationality United States
Fields Oceanography
Institutions Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Alma mater Oberlin College
Notable awards Huntsman Award (2003)

Lynne Talley (born May 18, 1954) is an American physical oceanographer.

Talley is Professor of Physical Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography[1] and has spent many months on research ships serving as chief scientist and collecting oceanographic hydrography data. She has a strong record of continuous participation in international steering groups and oversight committees for collection and use of oceanographic data.[2] Talley is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Talley was born May 18, 1954 in Schenectady, New York. She attended Marple-Newtown High School, Newtown Square, PA in 1971.

She received her B.A. in Physics in 1976 from Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio. In 1976, Talley also received a Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. For a year following Oberlin, she studied piano performance with Carl Seeman at the Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany. She continued her studies with Beatrice Erdeley, from the New England Conservatory of Music. After moving to San Diego, she studied for a few years with Pam Madsen and Karen Follingstad (SDSU).

In 1982, Talley completed a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the Joint Program in Oceanography from MIT and WHOI. After a postdoctoral research position at Oregon State University, she joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1984.

Career and Impact[edit]

Talley has worked at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD since 1984, and has been a Distinguished Professor since 2012. While at Scripps, her research has combined analysis of ocean observations with advanced theoretical work to describe and map large-scale circulation. Talley’s research focuses on the general circulation of the ocean and the role of various oceanic and atmospheric conditions that affect ocean currents and property distributions, including salinity.[3] Her work involves analysis of data from most of the world’s oceans, depicting the movement of heat, salinity, and water masses, and the formation of water masses, particularly in subpolar regions.[2]

From 2004-2007 she was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) Working Group and a lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report Working Group I chapter of the group's final report titled: "Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level",[4][5] which was released in February 2007. The report earned contributing scientists a share of the Nobel Peace Prize later that year.[6] She is currently a lead author on the same topic for the Fifth Assessment Report.

In addition to numerous academic publications, she has published a widely used graduate level textbook on descriptive physical oceanography, and two oceanographic atlases.[7][8] Her research and international/national committee work include a focus on ocean climate variability/change. She has played a leadership role in scientific planning and execution of international programs, including the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) of the 1990s and the CLIVAR/CO2 Repeat Hydrography Program of the 2000s to present.

In 2000, Talley and co-principal investigator, Daniel Rudnick, worked with moorings and hydrography on the collaborative Okhotsk Sea dense water formation project.[9] In 2005-2006, Talley spent time in the field using hydrography, CTD, and profiling floats to understand Antarctic Intermediate Water formation in the southeast Pacific.[10] Overlapping this time period, between 2005 and 2007, Talley also participated as part of the CLIMODE team on the CLIVAR Mode Water Dynamics Experiment (CLIMODE).

In 2009, Talley spent time on sabbatical at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a Visiting Scientist.[11] The following year she took sabbatical at the Universite de Grenoble Joseph Fourier for sciences, health, technologies.

Talley has a long history of seagoing experiences. As a graduate student in 1978 she joined the hydrography cruise through the Southwestern South Pacific aboard the R/V Knorr. Between 1993 and 1997, Talley returned to the R/V Knorr serving as chief scientist on three separate WOCE hydrography cruises in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Subpolar North Atlantic. She has additionally sampled the Pacific and Atlantic waters as part of the WOCE Field Program aboard various research vessels including the R/V T. Washington (1984, co-chief scientist; 1991, chief scientist), R/V T. Thompson (1985, chief scientist), R/V Oceanous (1988, co-chief scientist), and R/V Melville (1989, chief scientist).[12] In 1999, Talley served as chief scientist on the R/V Revelle sampling hydrography in the Japan/East Sea and then again as co-chief scientist aboard the Khromov in 1999 and 2000.[13] In 2014, she served as chief scientist for the GO-SHIP hydrography, CTC, float deployment cruise in the Southern Pacific aboard the R/V N.B. Palmer.

In 2016, Talley will lead the observation team of the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM)[14][15] and her research group will be involved directly in float, hydrographic and satellite data analysis, interfacing with the Southern Ocean State Estimate and data-model comparisons. She will also act as co-chair to the steering committee of the ongoing U.S. Repeat Hydrography.[16]

Awards and honors[edit]




  1. ^ "Tsunami May Have Carried Some Permanently to Sea". ABC News. 30 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  2. ^ a b "For Better or Worse, Modern Ocean Explorers Stay Connected". LiveScience. 1 February 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  3. ^ "L. Talley". Research Profiles. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Global Climate Report Shaped by Local Hands". Voice of San Diego. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  5. ^ "Chapter 5: Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level - AR4 WGI". Retrieved 2016-06-26. 
  6. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 2007". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  7. ^ Swift, Lynne D. Talley, George L. Pickard, William J. Emery, James H. (2011). Descriptive physical oceanography : an introduction (6th ed.). Amsterdam: Academic Press. ISBN 9780750645522. 
  8. ^ Hydrographic Atlas of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) (PDF) (Report). 2: Pacific Ocean. 
  9. ^ "Dense Water Formation in the Okhotsk Sea". 
  10. ^ "Process study of Antarctic Intermediate Water formation". Retrieved 2016-06-26. 
  11. ^ "Tickling the Ivories and Tackling the Pacific". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2016-05-16. 
  12. ^ "Curriculum Vitae: L. D. Talley". Retrieved 2016-05-27. 
  13. ^ "R/V Roger Revelle". Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Retrieved 2016-05-31. 
  14. ^ "Programs | SOCCOM". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  15. ^ "Talley | SOCCOM". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  16. ^ "US Repeat Hydrography Program". Retrieved 2016-05-31. 

External links[edit]