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Daniel Whitt

Research Scientist

Affiliation: NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)

Branch: Biospheric Science Branch (SGE)

Professional Bio

Since 2021, Dr. Daniel Whitt has been a civil servant research scientist in the Biospheric Science Branch of the Earth Science Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

Dr. Whitt’s research contributes to NASA’s oceanography and related Earth science programs by advancing our understanding of upper ocean physical, biogeochemical, and ecological processes and representing them in models of the ocean as a component of the regional and global Earth system. He is primarily an ocean modeler, but he has experience collecting observations at sea, and he seeks progress from deeper integration of modeling and observing activities. Hence, he works with numerous collaborators and tools to observe, understand, and model the vast range of interacting scales and processes that must be accounted for to maximize our capability to predict the ocean, its role in the changing Earth system, and how its variability impacts society.

Before NASA, Dr. Whitt was a project scientist in the Climate and Global Dynamics Lab at NCAR (2017-2020) and did a post-doc at in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge (2015-2016). The exceptional breadth and strength of Dr. Whitt’s work has been recognized by broad support for his research by sponsors, including four programs at NASA, three programs at NSF, and one at NOAA.


2015, PhD, Stanford University in Environmental Earth System Science

2011, MS, Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering

2009, AB, Columbia University in Mathematics

2009, BS, Columbia University in Applied Mathematics

Awards & Honors

2022, NASA Early Career Achievement Medal

2021, American Meteorological Society Editor’s Award from Journal of Physical Oceanography

2014, NSF International Postdoctoral Fellowship Award

Select Publications

Whitt, D. B., Cherian, D. A., Holmes, R. M., Bachman, S. D., Lien, R. C., Large, W. G., & Moum, J. N. (2022). Simulation and scaling of the turbulent vertical heat transport and deep-cycle turbulence across the equatorial Pacific cold tongue. Journal of Physical Oceanography52(5), 981-1014

Nicholson, S. A., Whitt, D. B., Fer, I., du Plessis, M. D., Lebéhot, A. D., Swart, S., … & Monteiro, P. M. (2022). Storms drive outgassing of CO2 in the subpolar Southern Ocean. Nature communications13(1), 158

Richards, K. J., Whitt, D. B., Brett, G., Bryan, F. O., Feloy, K., & Long, M. C. (2021). The impact of climate change on ocean submesoscale activity. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans126(5), e2020JC016750

Whitt, D. B., & Jansen, M. F. (2020). Slower nutrient stream suppresses Subarctic Atlantic Ocean biological productivity in global warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences117(27), 15504-15510


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