Rossby Honored with Symposium


The Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island celebrated the recent retirement of one of its longest serving and most distinguished professors last week with a day-long symposium in his honor.

Former students, postdoctoral researchers, colleagues and mentors of H. Thomas Rossby, who one called “the most innovative ocean engineer of the 20th century,” celebrated his long career with what they termed a “Rossby Symposium,” during which select participants gave presentations about research they were conducting that was inspired by the URI scientist. Speakers traveled from five countries to participate.

A native of Boston who now lives in Saunderstown, Rossby spent his career studying ocean circulation, especially the Gulf Stream, and how it affects weather and climate around the world. As several speakers noted, he not only conducted research on ocean circulation, he also invented numerous devices and techniques for doing this research.

Rossby has earned many of the highest honors bestowed upon scientists in his discipline, including the Ewing Medal from the American Geophysical Union, the Munk Award from The Oceanographic Society and the Suomi Award from the American Meteorological Society. He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union and a member of the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He earned his engineering degree in applied physics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and a doctorate in oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For more information please see the full press release.

Photo by Michael Salerno Photography