PODS by Year

PODS: History

The first Physical Oceanography Dissertation Symposium (PODS) was held in Breckenridge, Colorado in June 2002, followed by Hawai‘i-based symposia in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014. These symposia introduced new PhD graduates to each other, as well as to the granting agencies, with a goal of promoting the exchange of recent research results and providing a venue where scientific ideas could be exchanged amongst peers.

PODS participants, numbering from 21–25 invitees per meeting, have come from a diverse set of institutions across the U.S. and from international locales, chosen based on their dissertation research contribution towards current problems in physical oceanography.

Each symposium has featured a guest speaker who is a prominent member of the Physical Oceanography community, to serve as inspiration and mentor to the new cohort group of young physical oceanographers. The keynote presentation for PODS I was given by Dr. Walter Munk, and his talk was entitled, “The Evolution of Physical Oceanography in the Last 100 Years.” Subsequent keynote presentations have been given by Dr. Russ Davis (PODS II), Dr. James J. O’Brien (PODS III), Dr. Paola Malanotte Rizzoli (PODS IV), Dr. M. Susan Lozier (PODS V), Dr. Craig Lee (PODS VI), Dr. Janet Sprintall (PODS VII), Dr. Marie-Louise Timmermans (PODS VIII), and Dr. Sonya Legg (PODS IX).

During the symposia, each of the participants gives a detailed presentation of their graduate research, and participates in discussions on topics relevant to young investigators, such as new directions in science, proposal-writing, and how to start a research career. The research topics discussed reflect current scientific and societal priorities, ranging from internal waves and mixing, ocean circulation, to ocean-atmosphere interactions, amongst other topics (see individual meeting agendas for specific topics which change year-to-year based on current applicant thesis research).

PODS I symposium participants published an article in EOS (2002, Volume 83:45, PDF), describing the results of the meeting. In 2003, another article resulting from this first PODS meeting appeared in Oceanography (2003, PDF). Also in 2003, Poulton et al., presented a talk inspired by their experiences during PODS I at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting on post graduate education in physical oceanography, giving recommendations for the ideal structure of graduate programs. It is time for a new look at the role of PODS in physical oceanography: if you would like to publish a short article on PODS, please contact us!