John Marshall

Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Oceanography, MIT


My approach to teaching and mentoring at the graduate and undergraduate level strongly reflects the methods I employ in research.  In both graduate-level and introductory courses, I believe in engaging students, getting them interested rather than just delivering facts. My teaching is motivated by phenomena in the real world and brings together a judicious mix of observations, theory, modeling and laboratory experimentation.

Weather in a Tank

In support of my educational activities, I have put much effort into the development of a GFD teaching laboratory at MIT and associated curricula material, which is now being supported by the National Science Foundation. In collaboration with Lodovica Illari at MIT, we have developed ‘Weather in a Tank‘, an approach to teaching that combines laboratory experiments with real-time synoptic meteorological data. Paper [110] describes the philosophy behind ‘Weather in a Tank’.

See stories about the project:

Undergraduate text book

In 2008, I published an introductory text book on the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean with my colleague Professor Alan Plumb:

The book makes frequent reference to laboratory experiments, which can be carried out by students, or live in class, to illustrate fundamental principles of rotating fluid dynamics as they pertain to the general circulation and climate of the planet.

Courses being taught, Fall 2016

12.800: Rotating, Stratified Fluids
Fall 2016, MW, 9.00-11.30, 54-1620
This class introduces fluid dynamics to first year graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. The aim is to help students acquire an understanding of some of the basic concepts of fluid dynamics that will be needed as a foundation for advanced courses in atmospheric science, physical oceanography, ocean engineering, etc. The emphasis will be on fluid fundamentals, but with an atmosphere/ocean twist.
Professor John Marshall

See previous courses taught.