A physical oceanographer specializing in ocean circulation has been selected to receive the 2010 Robert L. and Bettie P. Cody Award in Ocean Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Dudley Chelton, a distinguished professor of physical oceanography at Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences and a former student of Scripps research oceanographer Russ Davis, will be awarded the prestigious prize during a private ceremony on the evening of June 10.
As part of the award, Chelton will present a public lecture June 11 at 11 a.m. at the Robert Paine Scripps Forum for Science, Society and the Environment (Scripps Seaside Forum) in La Jolla. The lecture, "The Oceans Viewed from Space," is designed for a lay audience. The talk is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested.
Throughout his career looking at different phenomena with various sensor systems and data sets, Chelton has been a leader in developing the analytical methods to deal with the inevitable imperfections of real-world observations and also in developing the algorithms for turning indirect remote-sensing signatures into reliable measurements with known accuracy. His understanding of physics, statistics and analysis has made his wisdom widely sought by those directing the observing system by which we measure the global environment. In 1994 he was awarded the NASA Public Service Medal for contributions to the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite mission; in 1998 he and colleagues received a NASA Group Achievement Award to recognize their role developing scientific requirements for scatterometers.
Chelton's interest in discovering the essence of ocean phenomena from observations led him to pioneer the use of remote sensing of the ocean, the atmosphere and their coupling. Through the use of penetrating analysis methods and a rapidly improving data set, Chelton quickly began exploiting satellite radar altimeters to relate small measured variations of sea-level height to currents at the ocean surface.
Chelton received his B.A. in physics at the University of Colorado and his Ph.D. in 1980 from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2008.
The Cody Award, which consists of a gold medal and a $10,000 prize, recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in oceanography, marine biology and Earth science.
It was established by an endowment from the late Robert Cody and his wife Bettie, and a substantial contribution from Capital Research & Management Company, in recognition of Mr. Cody's service to the Los Angeles-based firm. Robert Cody's affiliation with Scripps Oceanography dates back to his youth and his association with William E. Ritter, his great uncle and founder and first director of Scripps.