William K. Dewar

Dewar Photo Chair
The Pierre Welander Professor of Oceanography

Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., M.I.T. - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program, 1983

My research interests are directed toward understanding the dynamics of the ocean at scales from 100 km to 10,000 km, or equivalently from the deformation scale to the basin scale. Phenomena at these scales exhibit several different behaviors, from completely free evolution to directly forced evolution, and have a number of interesting characteristics. I have chosen to work on these types of oceanic phenomena because of a long-term research goal of understanding global climate. It is likely that the ocean is an important component in the determination of long-term climate tendencies. It is also likely that one of the primary ways in which the atmosphere and the ocean are coupled involves the storage and transport of heat by the ocean. The oceanic phenomena of deformation and larger scales participate importantly in both.

My approach is both analytical and numerical. Students will be encouraged to develop skills in the techniques of applied mathematics and numerical analysis. Emphasis in the study of any particular phenomenon will be placed on constructing and understanding the simplest relevant models, and extracting from models statements which pertain to the real ocean.