Isaac Ginis ~ Outreach Modeler

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From Equations to Forecasts

Dr. Isaac Ginis is a Professor of Oceanography in the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. His primary research is on the interaction of the atmosphere and the ocean, with a focus on numerical modeling. His work translates the understanding of the physics of the atmosphere and ocean and how they interact into a set of mathematical formulas that can then be used to simulate phenomena such as hurricanes, and ultimately to forecast them.

Trained as a mathematician, Isaac completed his Ph.D. in Russia in the 1980s, and was then invited to join a hurricane group at Princeton University that was studying air/sea interactions. The group developed the first hurricane-ocean coupled model, which has been used as the forecast model by the National Hurricane Center since 2001.

"Over 50 percent of getting answers is to try to ask the right question."
Working closely with NOAA and the National Weather Service, Isaac utilizes observations to develop a better understanding of hurricane physics and then brings this understanding into the development of computer models. His current research focuses on a better understanding of ocean temperature at depth and its effect on hurricane intensity, and investigations at the air/sea interface.

Isaac is a recipient of several national awards, including the 2001 NOAA Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, and the 2002 National Oceanographic Partnership Program Excellence Award. He was named the NOAA 2002 Environmental Hero.

Isaac's Research: