Shawn Smith

Shawn Smith Photo

Senior Research Associate
Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies

Rm. 245 (Directions for Visitors)

(850) 644-6918 phone
(850) 644-4841 fax

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Born and raised in the "Great White North" of Michigan, I received my B.S. in Earth Science from the Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University in June 1989. I obtained my M.S. in Meteorology in Dec. 1991 from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and my thesis focused on ENSO impacts on Antarctic surface temperature and precipitation. While at UW, I received field training that included maintenance of Antarctic Automated Weather Stations during an expedition to McMurdo Station in January 1991. I continued my Big Ten tour taking a job at the Ohio State University in 1992. My work at the Byrd Polar Research Center focused on boundary layer air flow over the Antarctic and included a nine-week field expedition to west Antarctica. After 2 years at the BPRC, I decided that I needed a change in climates, so I moved to the "Sunshine State" taking an assistant in research position at the WOCE Surface Meteorological Data Center.

Now, over twenty years since my move from Ohio, I am a senior research associate and director of the Marine Data Center at COAPS. Over these years, my focus has increasingly been on the quality of meteorological data collected on oceanographic research vessels. I lead a team whose mission is to provide routine access to high-quality, underway marine meteorological and surface oceanographic data to support scientific and operational activities. In 2003, I began as chairman of the Shipboard Automated Meteorological and Oceanographic System (SAMOS) Initiative which is funded through the NOAA Climate Observation Division, the National Science Foundation Oceanographic Instrumentation and Technical Services program, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Additionally, I am a principle investigator on the U.S. Rolling Deck to Repository project (ensuring all underway marine observations from university-operated RVs reach the U.S. national archives) and a NASA AIST project that is developing a distributed oceanographic data match-up service to support collocation of in situ and satellite observations over the ocean. Throughout these projects I have sought to expand COAPS involvement in the geoscientific informatics community and in 2015 COAPS successfully applied for and was accepted as a member of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners. Finally, I have long been a contributor to the international marine climate community, serving on three World Meteorological Organization task teams, participating in the organization of several marine climate workshops, and supporting the continued development of the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set.

Through the Marine Data Center, I strive to hire talented undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of meteorology and computer science/informatics and provide these students with real-world applied research and computer programming experience that greatly benefits their preparation for future employment or advanced graduate studies. Outside of marine data and informatics, my research interests are centered around the air-sea interactions and the effects of major climate variations (ENSO, NAO, PDO, etc.) on the weather of the United States. I have published ENSO impact studies related to precipitation, snowfall, and hurricanes. This transplanted Yankee still finds Florida WAY too hot in the summer, so I eagerly anticipate the upcoming winter!