Jack Barth is a Professor of oceanography in Oregon State University’s (OSU) College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. He received a Ph.D in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography. He is a Fellow of The Oceanography Society and of the American Meteorological Society. He is also the Executive Director of OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, a new program to unite marine-related research, teaching, and outreach and engagement across OSU and the state of Oregon. The mission of the Marine Studies Initiative is to create a healthy future for our ocean and the planet through transdisciplinary research and teaching that emphasizes collaboration, experiential learning, engagement with society and problem solving.
His research seeks to understand how coastal ocean circulation and water properties shape and influence marine ecosystems. He has led a number of research, technology development and ocean observing system projects off Oregon and around the world. He has published widely on coastal oceanography and marine ecosystems. His present research includes a focus on the characteristics and formation of low-oxygen zones off the Pacific Northwest. His research team uses autonomous underwater gliders, robots beneath the sea surface, logging hundreds of thousands of kilometers of measurements. From 2004 to 2007, he was a member of the National Science Foundation’s Observatory Steering Committee that launched the Ocean Observatories Initiative, the largest ever civilian investment by the U.S. in in-water ocean measurements. From 2013-2016, he served on the U.S. West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel, and, starting in 2018, he co-chairs Oregon’s Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Coordinating Council. He is a member of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) MONITOR Committee, responsible for coordinating ocean observations across the six PICES member nations ringing the North Pacific.