Scripps Welcomes New Oceanography Professor


Jennifer MacKinnon was recently appointed as the newest faculty member of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. 

MacKinnon is a newly appointed acting associate professor/associate researcher of oceanography in Scripps' Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography (CASPO) Division. Her research focuses on turbulent mixing that mediates the exchange of heat, dissolved greenhouse gases, and biological nutrients between the surface and the deep ocean. She uses a combination of seagoing observations, theory, and computer simulations to understand the dynamic processes that produce turbulence, such as breaking internal gravity waves. Her goal is to develop better parameterizations of turbulent mixing for use in large-scale global ocean and climate models.

"I am excited to join the faculty at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I've been at Scripps as a researcher for five years now and look forward to continuing my research into small-scale physics in the ocean," said MacKinnon. "I'm also looking forward to participating in the educational mission of Scripps, from teaching to mentoring graduate and undergraduate students."

Born in Oakland, Calif., MacKinnon received her B.A. degree in physics from Swarthmore College in 1995, and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington in 2002. She joined Scripps in 2002 as a post-doctoral researcher and became an associate research oceanographer in 2004. Her appointment as an associate professor formally began in November 2009.

MacKinnon has conducted fieldwork in three major oceans and several marginal seas.  She has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. When not at sea, MacKinnon is a frequent participant in the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics summer program in Woods Hole, Mass. She is also the chair of a working group on ocean mixing affiliated with the International Council for Science Scientific Committee on Ocean Research. MacKinnon is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society, and the Sigma Xi Society.

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