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Full Name
Tom Sanford
Principal Oceanographer and Professor, Oceanography
Applied Physics Lab - University of Washington (APL-UW)
Ocean Physics (OPD)

A.B. Physics, Oberlin College, 1962
Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1967

About Me

Dr. Sanford conducts innovate, high-quality basic and applied oceanographic research, teaches graduate students, mentors postdoctoral researchers, and fosters collaborations with national and international investigators and organizations. Broadly, his research exploits motional induction theory — the motion of seawater through the Earth's magnetic field that produces electric currents and magnetic fields — to infer important aspects of ocean properties and kinetic structure. These methods have been applied to a range of studies in the open ocean and within channels. In over four decades as an experimental oceanographer, Sanford has participated in many dozen cruises and research projects, provided the oceanographic community with important results, and developed several instruments and new observational methods. Recent efforts include the development of two ocean velocity sensors, one an autonomous vertical profiler and the other a bottom lander. These are being used to study upper-ocean mixing and convective processes, momentum flux into the ocean, as well as the structure and variability of oceanic boundary and estuarine currents. As Professor in the UW School of Oceanography, Dr. Sanford has taught courses and advised advanced research for about two dozen graduate students and postdocs. Dr. Sanford is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Association, received the IEEE/Ocean Engineering Society 2008 Distinguished Technical Achievement Award and in 2010 the AMS Henry Stommel Research Award. Since 2008 he has served as a Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Chair of Oceanographic Sciences.

Research Interest

Physical Oceanography; Instrumentation; Structure and Dynamics of Currents, Eddies and Waves; Propagation and Dissipation of Internal Waves

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