Philosophy + Aims

As a teacher, mentor, book author, book editor, and journal editor, I aim to foster a fundamental understanding of physical concepts and their creative use in describing observed and simulated ocean phenomena. Towards this aim, I strive to pedagogically articulate the foundations of ocean fluid mechanics in both the written and spoken word. I am particularly interested in revealing how concepts and tools from mathematical physics can be leveraged to deepen our understanding of ocean physical processes and circulation.


I seek to mentor highly energetic students, post-docs, and visiting professors with a strong background in both mathematical physics and physical oceanography. My mentees have a passion and creative talent for diving deep into the fundamentals of ocean physics and for uncovering their impacts on ocean circulation and climate.

Here is a list of past and present people I have mentored/hosted at GFDL and Princeton University.

GFM at Princeton

Geophysical fluid mechanics (GFM) is a beautiful discipline of theoretical physics and it forms the intellectual foundation for physical oceanography and climate. I teach the first semester graduate GFM course as part of Princeton University's AOS program. The course develops mathematics, kinematics, tracer dynamics, momentum dynamics, and vorticity dynamics relevant for understanding and describing the physics of rotating and stratified fluids. I make use of lecture notes (Griffies 2019) as well as textbooks such as that from Vallis (2017).

Lectures + Schools

In addition to teaching as part of the Princeton AOS faculty, I offer pedagogical lectures at schools and workshops for students aiming to refine their understanding of ocean and climate science, and for developing insights into how to run and analyze ocean model simulations. My next scheduled course is at the CLEX advanced ocean modelling summer school in Tasmania during April/May 2019.

Review Papers + Books

The evolution of a scientific discipline is supported by review articles and books that enable a new generation of scientists to penetrate into the discipline and in turn to contribute novel insights. Such publications also help establish a rigor that might otherwise be lacking without a systematic synthesis of intellectual strands. I have participated in many review papers, lead authoring some and mentoring the lead author on others. I am also the author of a monograph on ocean models (Griffies 2004) and the co-editor of a book on ocean climate science (Siedler, Griffies, Gould, and Church 2013).