Scripps Oceanography at UC San Diego Announces New Deputy Director for Research


Ken Melville, a professor of oceanography specializing in air-sea interactions, has been appointed deputy director for research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Melville conducts research on small-scale processes coupling the atmosphere and the ocean, and related phenomena. These include waves and mixing at the ocean surface; waves in the interior of the ocean; and acoustic, microwave and optical techniques for their remote measurement. Recent work has
concentrated on air-sea interactions in high winds and hurricanes.

"Ken Melville has a long and distinguished career at Scripps and I am proud and excited that he will be joining me in leading the next era of this great institution," said Tony Haymet, director of Scripps. "Not only has Ken contributed to Scripps through his years as a prominent oceanographer, but he provided key leadership as the chair of the Scripps Graduate Department for five years. His insight and guidance as deputy director for research will serve the institution and all of UC San Diego immensely."

As Scripps' deputy director for research, Melville is charged with advancing Scripps research and science at all levels. He will coordinate and develop new internal and external institutional research programs across the institution. He also will help lead and support Scripps' ship operations and research infrastructure.

Melville succeeds John Orcutt, who was recently named UC San Diego's new associate vice chancellor for government research relations and director of research innovation initiatives. Orcutt will also continue his long association with Scripps.

The primary area of research in Melville's laboratory is air-sea interactions, including surface wave dynamics, air-sea fluxes, upper ocean turbulence and remote sensing of ocean surface phenomena using electromagnetic and acoustic techniques.

To probe such processes and phenomena, Melville and his colleagues use laboratory experiments, field measurements, theoretical analysis and numerical modeling. Laboratory experiments are conducted at Scripps' Hydraulics Laboratory. Field measurements, which include a project using instrumentation to probe hurricanes, use moored and drifting instrument systems, airborne instruments and fixed platforms. Field work has included the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and Bass Strait off the coast of Australia.

Melville's ties to Scripps began in 1977 when he joined the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics as a researcher. He left Scripps for a professorship at MIT from 1980 to 1992, during which time he also was a guest investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
He returned to Scripps in 1992 as a professor of oceanography and is a member of Scripps' Marine Physical Laboratory and Physical Oceanography Research Division. He served as chair of the graduate department from 1996 to 2001.

Among his many honors, Melville was named a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 1999 and a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2005. He was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship winner in 1986-1987 and a Hawker Siddeley Fellow from 1969-1973, the same period he held a British Travel Conference Traveling Fellowship. He was a Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholar in Australia from 1968-1969 and a Commonwealth Scholar from 1964-1967.

Melville is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society and the American Meteorological Society.

For more information on Melville's research, see:

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