The Tsunami Debris Tracking Project's team is made up of scientists from the University of Hawaii, Scripps Oceanography, and planning from the Ocean Recovery Alliance. The group individuals are based in Honolulu, San Diego and Hong Kong, and together bring a wide variety of experience in ocean monitoring, modeling and outreach in regards to ways to improve the health of the ocean.
Dr. Maximenko is a Senior Researcher at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA. He graduated from the Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology, Russia in 1983 and obtained his PhD in Physical Oceanography in 1987. From 1987 through 1999 he was working at the P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology and he joined the IPRC in December 1999. Since then Dr. Maximenko was a PI on projects sponsored by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Civil Research and Development Foundation, International Space Science Institute and other agencies. He is an expert in ocean dynamics and he leads studies of ocean currents based on in situ observations, remote sensing, and numerical modeling. Results of his research have been published in dozens of scientific papers and his models, applied to the problem on marine debris, provide guidelines for efficient exploration of regional and global balances.
Jan earned his degree in meteorology in 1990 from Charles University in Prague. In 1996 he completed his PhD studies at the University of Alabama in Huntsville . Between 1996 and 1999 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the CIRA (Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere - Colorado State University), where his main work was on the implementation of satellite data into mesoscale numerical models. In 1999 he joined the Jackson State University as a research associate in the department of Physics, Atmospheric Science and General Science, where his work focused on research into extreme weather events in the Southeast US utilizing a modeling approach. In early 2001 Jan Hafner joined the IPRC (International Pacific Research Center at University of Hawaii) as a scientific programmer. His work encompassed satellite data processing and analysis, numerical modeling on regional and global scale. In addition, he is involved in physical oceanography research, focusing on ocean surface currents in particular. With Dr. Maximenko, he developed a diagnostic model of the ocean surface currents, known as the SCUD model (Surface Currents from Diagnostic Model) which has been applied to the marine debris problem. Jan Hafner has contributed to numerous papers published in peer review journals.
Doug is the co-founder of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, which is focused on bringing innovative solutions, technology, collaborations and policy together to impact positive improvements for the health of the ocean. Two global preventative projects on the issues of plastic waste were announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010: the Plastic Disclosure Project, and the Global Alert platform. Doug co-founded Project Kaisei which led a science expedition to the North Pacific Gyre with Scripps Oceanography in 2009, and was recognized as a UN Climate Hero and a Google Earth Hero for its efforts. Doug has worked in Asia for the past 18 years in a number of industries which have been at the forefront of technology within their sectors, mainly related to the environment and new media platforms. He also spent four years in the asset management industry, and set up the framework for a Global Environmental Technology fund in 1998 with Merrill Lynch. Doug is a competitive swimmer and outrigger paddler, and has been nominated as Open Water Swimmer of the Year for his contributions to the sport. Born in Northern California, he has a dual masters degree from The Wharton School (MBA) and Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Centurioni began his scientific career as Research Fellow at Hydraulic Research Wallingford Ltd., UK, in the field of coastal management and coastal defenses design. He received his doctoral degree in 2000 from the University of Southampton (U.K), Southampton Oceanography Centre, with a thesis in experimental fluid mechanics.
Dr. Centurioni was involved in the U.K. Argo project from its early start and in 2002 he moved to SIO to work with Professor Peter Niiler. In 2005 he joined the SIO Faculty. Dr Centurioni is the main PI of Global Drifter Program (GDP) The GDP is the principal international component of the Joint Commission of Marine Measurements (JCOMM) “Global Surface Drifting Buoy Array”. It is a Scientific Project of the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)/International Ocean Commission (IOC). Dr. Centurioni oversees the procurement of most of the drifters that populate the GDP array (~1250 drifters reporting sea surface temperature, ocean velocity and sea level atmospheric pressure in real time through the GTS), and, most importantly, he supervises the technical developments/innovations of the SVP drifting buoy through his lab and strong interactions with industry.
Dr. Centurioni is currently PI on several Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded grants.
Lagrangian and semi-Lagrangian (ADOS class) drifters have been developed and deployed by Dr. Centurioni and his groups as part of several recent ONR efforts. These include the ITOP DRI, which aims at measuring the interaction of typhoons with the upper-ocean. Drifters were released in front of typhoons from a USAF C-130.
The “River Drifter”, a backpack-size and lightweight CODE-drifter fitted with a current meter and a bottom pinger is designed to measure vertical profiles of three-dimensional velocity, bottom depth, sediment characteristics and surface gravity waves in coastal waters and lagoons. It has been deployed for the first time to understand the behavior of the Tijuana river plume during high discharge events. Plans exist to use the river drifter within the estuary of the Mekong River (Vietnam).