Physical Oceanography Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Physical Oceanography program is interested in receiving research planning letters on topics related to our primary focus areas of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale ocean processes, air-sea interaction, new ocean observing technologies, and the education of the next generation of scientists.

Areas of interest include:

  • Submesoscale variability associated with fronts, jets and eddies; internal tides, turbulence and mixing; influence of regional variability on meso- and sub-mesoscale processes, sea strait dynamics, and the predictability of these processes
  • Western boundary current forcing and variability on short time scales
  • The processes that govern ocean interior mixing and air-sea interaction, in particular those that govern, surface fluxes and turbulence
  • Novel uses of existing or emerging remote, autonomous or in-situ instruments to understand the ocean on the scales at which the Navy operates; use of such data to improve ocean state predictions

The Physical Oceanography Program priorities are represented by the ongoing or upcoming Departmental Research Initiatives (DRIs). These topics form the core of the program focus and investment. Once a DRI has begun, it is rare to encourage additional proposals in those areas.  The program strongly encourages hypothesis based research and often uses the latest parametreizations, and model formulations to help frame this hypothesis.  We are also interested in advancing autonomous methods of ocean sampling.

The program fully embraces the Navy’s commitment to fostering science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and will give highest priority to existing early student support commitments and will continue this as a focus of the core physical oceanography program. The Early Student Support Program directly supports student involvement in Physical Oceanography program-funded efforts. We select only a few ESS new starts each year.

Proposals and awards have been finalized for the FY2017 program.

Existing Departmental Research Initiatives (DRI) are fully subscribed for FY16 and FY17.

Please see the link for our new DRIs, Near Inertial Shear and KInetic Energy in the North Atlantic Experiment (NISKINE) and Coherent Lagrangian Pathways from the Surface Ocean to Interior (CALYPSO) Departmental Research Initiative to submit planning letters, DUE 31 JULY 2017.

Planning Letters

Regular Planning Letter Due Date: 31 July 2017

The purpose of our planning letter process is to allow you to submit a brief description of your scientific idea so that we may look at it and give you programmatic and technical feedback before you invest your time in writing a full proposal. This allows us to give you a quick indication of where we think a full proposal may end up based on our program interest/priority. If you are uncertain of the appropriate Ocean, Atmosphere and Space Research Division program for your planning letter submission, we encourage you to submit to all potentially applicable programs. The review process will consider the appropriate alignment for your proposed work.

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. Terri Paluszkiewicz

Title: Team Leader

Department: Code 32

Email for Questions:

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