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photo credit: San Nyugen

Dr. J. Thomas Farrar

Senior Scientist
Physical Oceanography Department

Google Scholar Profile

ResearcherID Profile


Contact Information:
Work: 508-289-2691
Clark 212A

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #29
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

Atmosphere-ocean exchange of heat and freshwater; dynamics and thermodynamics of the upper ocean; tropical dynamics and equatorial waves; oceanic internal waves and eddies; satellite oceanography; ocean observing and instrumentation.

Selected Publications


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Honors and Awards

2021: Oceanography Science Co-Lead, Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) Satellite Mission

2018: Principal Investigator of the NASA Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE), a $30M NASA Earth Venture Suborbital Mission with 21 co-investigators, remote sensing measurements from three aircraft, and three research cruises that will take place in 2020-2021.

2017: American Meteorological Society Nicholas P. Fofonoff Award in recognition of research achievement in physical oceanography, for “insightful analysis of observations yielding a deeper understanding of tropical and upper ocean dynamics, and for generous collaboration and leadership in major field experiments”

2012: Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans

2006: Outstanding Student Paper Award, AGU Ocean Sciences meeting

2000-2001: MIT Presidential Fellowship

2000: Most Outstanding Physics Student, University of Oklahoma


  • Ph.D., 2007: Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • S.M., 2003: Physical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S., 2000: Physics, University of Oklahoma
  • B.A.,2000: Philosophy, University of Oklahoma


MIT-WHOI Graduate Course 12.805, Dynamical Insights from Data (listed as "Data Analysis in Physical Oceanography")