NAS-UGOS Initiative

The presenters:

Kelly Oskvig, Program Officer, NAS-UGOS
Kelly Oskvig is a Program Officer for the Gulf Research Program at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She is the lead on the Program’s Safer Offshore Energy Systems initiative focused on fostering safer offshore operations for both people and the environment, which includes an initiative focused on understanding and predicting the Loop Current system. Prior to joining the Gulf Research Program, she was involved in geotechnical investigations in the Gulf, environmental monitoring in the Gulf, and program management for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.  Kelly has now been with the Gulf Research Program for over 3 years.  Kelly earned her M.S.in physical oceanography at Texas A&M University, and her B.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas. 

Robert H. Weisberg, Distinguished University Professor, Physical Oceanography, University of South Florida
Robert Weisberg, Distinguished University Professor, College of Marine Science - USF is a physical oceanographer engaged in ocean circulation and ocean-atmosphere interaction studies that presently emphasize the West Florida Continental Shelf and its estuaries. He uses real-time, in-situ observations and numerical circulation models to describe and understand the processes that control these water bodies.  Recent applications include harmful algal blooms, hurricane storm surge and waves, tracking of oil, fisheries recruitment, forensic studies and other topics of societal concern.  His undergraduate degree is in engineering from Cornell University followed by MS and PhD degrees in Physical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.  Recruited to USF in 1984 from the North Carolina State University, he earned the Distinguished University Professor designation in 2007.  

Jan Van Smirren, Consultant Oceanography, Ocean Sierra LLC
Mr. van Smirren B.Sc., M.Sc. has gained over 35 years of experience in commercial oceanography.  Mr. van Smirren is a Consultant Oceanographer with Ocean Sierra LLC, prior to this he was Partnership Managing Director for the Energy Sector at British Maritime Technology, and previously occupied global and regional senior management positions in the UK, Singapore and USA with Fugro.  His oceanographic experience has seen him undertake studies in the North and South Atlantic, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.  This has included both field measurement and monitoring system campaigns and the detailed analysis and interpretation of data. Mr. van Smirren pioneered the use of ADCP’s in mainstream commercial oceanography starting in the mid 1980s with rig based ADCP measurements, which continues today.  Further successes include: the first ROV-based real-time current profile monitoring system (RovADCP); the first purpose designed real-time current profile monitoring system for seismic survey vessels (SeisADCP); and web-based real-time database and display software for geospatial real-time metocean measurements.  Mr. van Smirren was responsible to for the collaborative development of the first commercially available airborne remote ocean current imaging system (ROCIS).


Dr. Ruoying He, Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University
Dr. Ruoying He is Goodnight Innovation Distinguished Professor of North Carolina State University and an Adjunct Scientist of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His research expertise spans from coastal circulation dynamics, air-sea interaction, to biophysical interactions. As the director of the Ocean Observing and Modeling Group (OOMG), he conducts coastal ocean observations, remote sensing data analyses, and leads the development of prediction models of ocean circulation, air-sea-wave interactions, physical-biogeochemical couplings.  Dr. He served as an Associated Editor for Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, and as a guest editor for Ocean Dynamics. He also serves on the editorial boards of several other scientific journals and as the elected chair/organizing committee member of several major international science meetings. He is presently also a member of NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Facility Board, and a science team member of International GODAE OceanView project.

Heather Furey, Research Specialist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Heather Furey is a Research Specialist in the Physical Oceanography Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  She has spent the last twenty years studying deep ocean currents and mesoscale phenomena, primarily with working sub-surface drifters.  Her focus is on project management, field work, data processing, archiving, and scientific analysis and presentation. 

Rafael Ramos, Senior Oceanographer/Ocean Engineer, Woods Hole Group
Dr. Rafael Ramos has more than 25 years of experience working in many aspects of ocean engineering, oceanography, and atmospheric sciences for government entities, research institutions, and the offshore oil industry. He earned a Master’s Degree in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Doctorate Degree in Applied Marine Physics at the University of Miami. He also completed a Post-Doctorate appointment at the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advance Remote Sensing of the University of Miami. He has been involved in multiple aspects of design and requalification of fixed offshore platforms, and has participated in several projects related to the generation and implementation of operational, design, and assessment criteria and recommended practices for offshore infrastructure. Dr. Ramos has been also involved in several field experiments focused on further understanding atmospheric, oceanographic, and air-sea interaction phenomena, ranging from internal waves to momentum and heat transfer on the ocean surface. He is author or coauthor of more than 20 peer-reviewed technical articles and several conference proceedings papers dealing with modeling and interpretation of data collected by shore-based (HF radar), vessel-based (X-Band radar), and satellite-based (altimeter, scatterometer, SAR) remote sensing systems as well as moored (buoy) and non-moored instrumentation. Dr. Ramos has participated in several studies in the Gulf of Mexico that include real-time monitoring of the Macondo oil spill with satellite imagery (US DHLS Science and Technology Impact Award), characterization of the Loop Current and Loop Current Eddies that shed from it (using measurements collected from dedicated vessels), assessment of accuracy of existing simplified and regional circulation models, and deployment (and associated data analysis) of metocean instrumentation in moorings and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units. 

Steve Dimarco, Professor, Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University

Ruth Perry, Marine Scientist and Regulatory Policy Specialist, Shell Upstream Americas

Pak Leung, Technology Portfolio Advisor, Shell

Marcus Ogle, Senior Oceanographer, Fugro USA Marine Inc

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