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QUESTION: Hi I'm an eighth grader and I'm conducting a Science Fair experiment on the rapid dropping of the ocean's pH.I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about your experience in the field of Oceanography. Thank you.

ANSWER: Absolutely. Please send your questions.


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QUESTION: How has the rapid drop of the pH in the ocean affected the marine life?
What did you study at college?
What makes you an expert in this field?
How many years have you been in your field?
What are your degrees in your field?

Hi Hayley,

As far as the effect of ocean acidification (lowering pH) on marine life, you would probably get a better answer from the other Expert in ceanography on this site, Dr. Alevizon. He is a biological oceanographer and I am a physical oceanographer.

As to your other questions:

I studied applied math at UC Berkeley as an undergrad, which included physics. I got a masters degree in physical oceanography from MIT. For the MIT graduate program, they were looking for applicants with a solid math/science background rather than an undergraduate oceanography degree.

I consider myself an expert because of my education and my career as a professional scientist which included research on ocean related topics.

I have been in the field for over 30 years.

Thanks for your questions.



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randy patton


Physical oceanography, surface and internal wave characteristics, ocean currents, fluid mechanics, geophysical fluid dynamics, ocean optics, coastal dynamics, modeling and simulation, data analysis, El Nino and related large scale dynamics Not an expert in marine biology (some in bioluminescence) or chemical oceanography


26 years as professional scientist for research company working mostly on Navy and other government contracts. Projects included modeling, simulations and data analysis related to Non-acoustic Anti-submarine Warfare (NAASW). Other projects included remote sensing of ocean features, statistical analysis of ship tracks, ocean optics instrumentation development, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and sonar (SAS).

Journal of Physical Oceanography, 1984, "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics" (with M. Cane)

MS Physical Oceanography, MIT, 1981 BS Applied Math, UC Berkeley, 1976

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