FSU oceanography professor wins international honor

Dr. Doron Nof

With research ranging from a new explanation for the parting of the Red Sea during the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt to a prediction that the Three Gorges Dam in China could increase air temperatures over Japan, Doron Nof, Fridtjof Nansen Professor of Oceanography at FSU, has won the prized European Geosciences Union (EGU) Fridtjof Nansen Medal for 2005.

This is the highest medal that the European Geosciences Union (EGU) can award an oceanographer, and it is usually reserved for Europeans. Nof is just the second American to receive it.

He was recognized for his "fundamental contributions to the understanding of the movement of fluids within the ocean and its relationship to the interaction with the atmosphere above," according to the EGU citation.

With a pioneering and innovative view, Nof considers the dynamics of the ocean to lie at the heart of global change. His early research included studies of flows through straits and passages, boundary current dynamics, upwelling in coastal regions, the dynamics of eddies in the upper and deep ocean, equatorial dynamics, general circulation problems and cross-equatorial flows.

From the early 80s, by successfully using a variety of complementary approaches, ranging from experimental work to theoretical and numerical modeling, Nof made seminal contributions to understanding the underlying processes shaping the ocean.

Nof’s new explanation of the parting of the Red Sea, during the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, is based on the effects of winds and currents. Recently he also has shown that the Three Gorges Dam in China may produce large-scale convection in the Japan Sea and increased air temperatures over Japan.

According to the EGU’s medal citation, "Professor Nof is an outstanding physical oceanographer who has advanced global fluid dynamics problems with remarkable intuition and elegance and great practical know-how."

Nof accepted his medal at the EGU meeting in Vienna in April 2005.

about Nof’s response to Hollywood’s speculations on global warming

Read more about the Fridjof Nansen Medal.