Oceanographer Lynne Talley of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has been elected to the 2003 class of fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
As a physical oceanographer and professor who specializes in large-scale ocean circulation, Talley is known as a leading expert on mid-latitude air-sea interaction processes around the world. Such processes are important in climate studies.
The 220-year-old American Academy of Arts and Sciences began as a forum for a select group of scholars, members of learned professions, and others to work together on behalf of the newly formed nation. Today the academy is an international society with a dual function: "to elect to membership men and women of exceptional achievement" and "to conduct a varied program of projects and studies responsive to the needs and problems of society."
Other members of the 2003 academy class of fellows and foreign honorary members include Kofi Annan, Walter Cronkite, and Bill Gates. Talley has been noted widely for her achievements in ocean exploration, especially her role in the international World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). Today she continues her involvement in the program through data analysis and coordination.
Talley's primary research focuses on the general circulation of the ocean and the role of various oceanic and atmospheric conditions that affect ocean water property distributions such as heat and salinity. Her work involves analysis of data from most of the world's oceans, depicting the movement of heat, salinity, and the formation of water masses, particularly in subpolar regions.
A leader in a number of research cruises, Talley's current projects include a joint Russian-Korean-Japanese-U.S. study of water mass processes in the Okhotsk and Japan Seas.
Talley attended Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where she received a B.A. in physics and a B.M. in piano performance in 1976. She received a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1982. Prior to joining Scripps, Talley was a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University in Corvallis.