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How I approach my craft

There are three dances I do on a daily basis:

  1. Nature vs Nurture
    By nature I am an INFP. I like detail and excel at pattern perception. If you work with me it helps to have a very large bandwidth for information. What constitutes a pattern is a loop with nurture, but what drives the loop is emotional.
    By nurture I do maths and logically organize information. I am good at sums, but it has never been a well spring of creativity.
  2. NonDualism
    A fundamental Buddhist tenent, everything is related to everything else. If you don’t think so, you need to look harder. I like Statistical Physics much more than Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. I like relationships, families and communities and communication in which the feedbacks are recognized. GFD typically starts with a pronunciation of single space and time scales and deals with the behavior of the individual in isolation. Master-slave relationships like linear instability calculations can be useful, but ultimately boring. The precepts of GFD are about isolation and dominance. It is a masculine world view in which you tell the ocean how to behave rather than listening to what it has to say. I’ve learned the ocean really doesn’t care what you say.
  3. Epistemology
    How do you know what you know? How good are your measurements and how has your sampling colored your understanding of the measurements?

What I do

Basically, I write stories about the things I experience. My stories have words and pictures and symbols.

Lately I’ve been writing stories about things I don’t see. These are much harder to write from a scientific context based in empirical ratification.

I like to listen to other people’s stories and work with them to create things that are more beautiful than I could create by myself. Here are some of them:

  • Professor Rafaele Ferrari. URL. Very much an intellectual stud. Raf and I started collaborating when he was a post-doc at WHOI. The authorship of Polzin and Ferrari (2004) and Ferrari and Polzin (2005) is flipped from the actual work that went into the papers. I did this because I knew Raf could a much better job developing and selling the ideas of T-S variability than I ever could.
  • Professor Alberto Naveira Garabato. URL. A really sweet kid. Alberto walked into my office and I understood that he was an INF too, and that communication would be easy. Alberto has an incredible ability to work with diverse personalities and larger groups.
  • Professor Yuri Lvov. URL. A bit of an odd-ball here. Yuri is both useful for his mathematical abilities we have written some very engaging stories about nonlinear systems.
  • Asst. Professor Stephanie Waterman. URL. SNW is at the top of my list of folks I want to spend time with at sea. Can do also extends to story writing. She makes it easy.
  • Jim Ledwell. URL. Jim’s data have just been an intellectual feast.
  • Helen Phillips. URL. Writing stories about T-S variability. It is a very unique and eye-opening experience.
  • Sonya Legg. URL. Writing stories about Boundary Mixing.
  • Amelie Meyer. URL.
  • Max Nikurashin. URL. Max does very high resolution numerics. This has considerably informed my opinions about boundary mixing.

Visitors / post-docs / Students over the years

Andrea Costa
Oliver Sun
Louis Clement
Amelie Meyer
Maria Broadbridge
Max Nikurashin
Raf Ferrari