Jay Austin


Department Head, Physics and Astronomy

Large Lakes Observatory/ Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Minnesota, Duluth

Duluth, MN 55812


Jay Austin

PhD, 1999, MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography

BS, 1990, Mathematics and Physics, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo

(you can access our real-time buoys HERE)

My Research

My research fits into a fairly broad definition of coastal physical oceanography and limnology, as my interests extend beyond the coastal zone to estuaries and lakes. My recent work has focused on the long-term effects of climate change on large lakes, especially how ice fits into the picture. On shorter scales, I am interested in how wind moves water around in these sorts of systems. I focus on two primary techniques for exploring these systems: Direct observations of the properties by a variety of means, and numerical simulation, particularly process-oriented idealized models of systems. I also have interests in instrument development and education.


On board the R/V Blue Heron



I have several active grants. Two of these come from from the National Science Foundation. A current focus is on how shelves and estuaries communicate with each other, and what role wind plays in this exchange. This grant is in collaboration with colleagues at the University of New Hampshire and the University of Florida. A pending grant will help us to better understand how Lake Superior varies from year to year.

I've recently recieved funding through UMD's Office of the Vice President of Research and through the Great Lakes Observing System to place a set of moored obsrving platforms in Lake Superior. One of these is real time- you can find the data by clicking here.

Another recent source of funding is Minnesota SeaGrant, which has recently funded an effort to extend numerical modeling tools to classroom teaching. I am working on this project with my co-PIs Jessica Crouch and Mike Dinniman, both of Old Dominion University.




I'll be teaching Physics 2011, Mechanics and Thermodynamics, in the Fall. I've also recently taught Physics 2011 (Introductory, Calculus-based physics), Physics 5541, Fluid Dynamics and Physical Limnology (LIM5101).

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