Russ E. Davis
Research Oceanographer
Physical Oceanography Research Division

A physical oceanographer, Russ E. Davis studies the ocean’s role in climate and upper-ocean dynamics in the Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography division.

Davis was born in San Francisco, CA. He completed undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, where he received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. During the summer he was a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. He attended Stanford University, earning a master’s degree and a doctoral degree, both in chemical engineering.

Davis became an assistant research geophysicist at the San Diego branch of the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps and was then appointed to the Scripps faculty as an assistant professor of oceanography. He was a full professor from, and is now a research oceangrapher.

While at Scripps, Davis has investigated wave motion, turbulent flow, motion in stratified fluids, air-sea interaction, and ocean-current measurement methods. He is an expert in the design of oceanographic instruments and at-sea experiments.

His research concerns the largest-scale circulation patterns in the ocean and their role in maintaining global climate. His studies are largely based on observations made by subsurface floating instruments, which allow oceanographers to analyze the evolution of ocean temperature and salinity in remote and harsh locations. Davis has led development of several measurement devices including the sounding oceanographic Lagrangian observer (SOLO) floats now used in the international Argo network and the innovative programmable glider known as Spray.

Davis was director of the NOAA/Scripps/Lamont Consortium on the Ocean’s Role in Climate. He has served on numerous other scientific committees and task forces, consulting with government agencies on aspects of ocean circulation, ocean climate monitoring, and remote sensing of the oceans by satellite.

Davis was honored with the Prince Albert I Gold Medal from the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO), the Henry Stommel Medal from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the A. G. Huntsman Award from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia, Canada.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.

Last updated 2007