Scripps Institution scientist honored with Maurice Ewing Medal of the American Geophysical Union

December 14, 2000

Joseph L. Reid, professor emeritus of physical oceanography in the Marine Life Research Group at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, is being honored with the Maurice Ewing Medal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his outstanding scientific contributions to ocean sciences. The award is presented annually for significant contributions to the understanding of physical, geophysical, and geological processes in the ocean; to those who advance ocean engineering, technology, and instrumentation; and to those who perform outstanding service to the marine sciences. He will receive the award at a special ceremony presentation on Dec. 17, during the annual AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

Reid has been a professor of physical oceanography at Scripps Institution since 1974. He served as director of the Scripps Marine Life Research Group from 1974 to 1987. He is a highly regarded physical oceanographer concerned with the study of ocean circulation in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.

Reid was born in Franklin, Texas, on Feb. 7, 1923, and graduated from the University of Texas in 1942 with a B.A. degree in mathematics. He entered the U.S. Navy and served in the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas and North Atlantic and Western Pacific oceans. After World War II, he enrolled at Scripps Institution, receiving his M.S. degree in physical oceanography in 1950. In 1955, he coordinated the NORPAC Expedition, which collected oceanographic observations over the North Pacific Ocean. He has written numerous papers based on these results, and he has edited the NORPAC Atlas of the expedition's materials.

Aboard R/V Argo in 1966, he carried out a winter expedition into the northwestern Pacific, the Bering Sea, and the Okhotsk Sea. In 1968, he made the first measurements of the abyssal flow from the South Pacific into the North Pacific through its deepest passage, the Samoan Passage. On the PIQUERO Expedition in 1969, he measured the transport of water from the Pacific to Atlantic, south of Cape Horn. He has also measured water characteristics, including currents, in the Antarctic, south of New Zealand, and in the southwestern Atlantic.

Reid was one of the initial participants in the Atlantic and Pacific phases of the GEOSECS Expedition, which obtained detailed measurements of oceanic constituents along Arctic-to-Antarctic sections.

More recently, he has investigated the nature of current exchanges between the major oceans. These studies focus on the exchange of water between the Norwegian-Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic, and the Antarctic and South Atlantic oceans.

Reid is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He served as president of the Ocean Sciences Section of AGU from 1984-86. He has received the Alexander Agassiz Award of the National Academy of Sciences and the Henry Stommel Research Award of the American Meteorological Society.

Reid and his wife, Freda, who is a specialist in marine biology at Scripps, reside in Del Mar, Calif.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California, San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and graduate training in the world. The National Research Council has ranked Scripps first in faculty quality among oceanography programs nationwide. The scientific scope of the institution has grown since its founding in 1903 to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. More than 300 research programs are under way today in a wide range of scientific areas. The institution has a staff of about 1,300, and annual expenditures of approximately $100 million, from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates the largest U.S. academic fleet with four oceanographic research ships and one research platform for worldwide exploration.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography on the World Wide Web: Scripps News on the World Wide Web:

Media Contacts: Mario Aguilera, Dec. 15-18 AGU Press Room or Renaissance Parc 55: 415/392-8000 or Cindy Clark: 858/534-3624
For Release: Dec. 15, 2000

University of California - San Diego

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