Gordon R. Stephenson, Jr.

is an oceanographer

I finished my graduate studies with Sarah Gille and Janet Sprintall at SIO. My thesis research considered air-sea-ice interactions in the Southern Ocean. Most recently, II studied the drivers of seasonal and interannual variability in upper-ocean heat content in Drake Passage using data from the Scripps High Resolution XBT/XCTD Network.

Contact information:

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
Mail Code 0208
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093
grstephe (@) ucsd.edu

g.stephenson (@) bangor.ac.uk

(last updated Jan. 2012)


Stephenson, G. R., S. T. Gille, and J. Sprintall, 2011. Seasonal variability of upper-ocean heat content in Drake Passage, submitted to J. Geophys. Res.. (Accepted with minor revisions 12 Jan. 2012).

Stephenson, G.R., J. Sprintall, S. T. Gille, M. Vernet, J. J. Helly, and R. S. Kaufmann, 2011. Subsurface melting of a free-floating Antarctic iceberg. Deep-Sea Research II. 58(11-12):1336-1345. (link to abstract)

Helly, J. J., R. S. Kaufmann, M. Vernet, and G. R. Stephenson, 2011. Spatial characterization of the meltwater field from icebergs in the Weddell Sea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108(14):5492-5497.(link to abstract)

Helly, J. J., R. S. Kaufmann, G. R. Stephenson, and M. Vernet, 2011. Cooling, dilution and mixing of ocean water by free-drifting icebergs in the Weddell Sea. Deep-Sea Research II. 58(11-12):1346-1363. (link to abstract)

Gille, S.T., A. Lombrozo, J. Sprintall, G. Stephenson, and R. Scarlet. Anomalous spiking in spectra of XCTD temperature profiles. J. Atmosp. Ocean. Tech., 26(6):1157-1164.(link to abstract)

Fukumura, K., D. Kazanas, and G. Stephenson, 2009. Quasi-periodic oscillations from random X-ray bursts around rotating black holes. The Astrophysical Journal. 695:1199-1209.(link to abstract)

Seemann, S., E. Borbas, R. Knuteson, G. Stephenson and H.-L. Huang, 2008. Development of a global infrared land surface emissivity database for application to clear sky sounding retrievals from multispectral satellite radiance measurements. J. Applied Meteorol. Climatol., 47(1):108-123.(link to abstract)

Lehman-Ziebarth, N., P. Heideman, R. Shapiro, S. Stoddart, C. Hsiao, G. Stephenson, P. Milewski, and A. Ives, 2005. Evolution of periodicity in periodical cicadas. Ecology, 86(12):3200-3211.(link to abstract)

Field Experience:

May/June 2011: Two one-day cruises on the RG Sproul to recover and redeploy a mooring off Del Mar (Uwe Send, chief scientist).

March-April 2009: Participated in the Iceberg III research cruise (Ken Smith-MBARI, chief scientist) to the Weddell Sea to study the physical and biogeochemical impacts of icebergs on their surroundings.

Conferences and Presentations:

Stephenson, G. R., S. T. Gille, and J. Sprintall. Interannual variability of upper-ocean heat content in Drake Passage. Presentation upcoming 20 Feb. 2012 at Ocean Sciences meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

Stephenson, G. R., J. Sprintall, S. T. Gille, M. Vernet, J. J. Helly, and R. S. Kaufmann. Subsurface melting of a free-floating Antarctic iceberg. Presentation at 92nd meeting of AAASPD, San Diego, CA, 14 June 2011.

Attended the International Symposium on Interactions of Ice Sheets and Glaciers with the Ocean, International Glaciological Society, La Jolla, CA, June 5-10 2011.

Stephenson, G. R., S. T. Gille, and J. Sprintall. Surface forcing of ocean heat content in Drake Passage. Poster presented at American Geophysical Union Fall 2010 Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 13-17 December 2010.

Stephenson, G. R., S. T. Gille, and J. Sprintall. Variability of mixed-layer depth in Drake Passage. Poster presented at Ocean Sciences meeting, Portland, OR, 22-26 February 2010.

Borbas, E., S. W. Seemann, G. Stephenson, J. Li, and W. P. Menzel. Comparison and validation of MODIS infrared and near infrared total precipitable water products. Poster presented at Amer. Meteorol. Soc. Conf. on Atmospheric Radiation, 12th, Madison, WI, 9-14 July 2006.


05/2006: University of Wisconsin-Madison. B.S. with honors. [majors in Math, Atm. and Oceanic Sci.]
09/2006: Enrolled in Ph.D. program in Physical Oceanography, SIO/UCSD.
12/2007: M.S. in Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego


NASA-Earth and Space Science Fellowship, 2009-2012.
R. Creighton Buck prize for unusual creativity in mathematics. UW math department, May 2005.
USRP at Goddard Space Flight Center, fall 2005.
REU in mathematical ecology at UW-Madison, summer 2004
Dean's List at UW-Madison: 12/2002, 05/2005
National Merit Scholarship, 2002.

Other Certifications:

Ham Radio License, General Class, WJ6OYP, May 2011.
Advanced Open Water SCUBA Certification, August 2004.

Other Research Experience:

Fall 2005: Participated in NASA's Undergraduate Student Researchers Program at Goddard Space Flight Center, with D. Kazanas as advisor. Constructed a Monte-Carlo type model to calculate the distribution of photons falling onto an accretion disk around a black hole.

Spring 2005-Summer 2006: Assisted S.W. Seemann at the UW-Space Science and Engineering Center in testing the MOD07 algorithm, a model that derives profiles of atmospheric temperature and water vapor from MODIS infrared channels. Compared MOD07-retrieved water vapor estimates with GPS-based precipitable water estimates from six stations around the U.S. and separately compared MOD07 temperature and moisture profiles with profiles derived from AIRS data.

Fall 2004-Spring 2005: Under a VIGRE grant with G. Mari-Beffa (UW-Madison Math Dept.) and two other students, used the method of moving coframes to find a complete set of differential invariants for Minkowski geometries of spatial dimension 1, 2, and 3.

Summer 2004: With A. Ives and P. Milewski, explored prime periodicity in cicada emergences through numerical models of predator-prey interaction as part of a Research Experience for Undergraduates at the UW-Madison.