faculty listing

A Photo of  Thomas Royer

Contact Information

Institute of Marine Science
100 Hauoli Street, Apt. 412
Wailuku, HI 96793

Thomas Royer Professor Emeritus

Physical Oceanography

Research Overview

My interests continue in the physics of coastal and deep ocean processes in the North Pacific. I established the Gulf of Alaska (GAK) hydrography time series near Seward in 1970 for the purpose of understanding better those processes that cause changes in the ocean. This sampling continues by other scientists to the present. In recent decades I have been using those data and others to describe and understand the seasonal and interannual variations of water temperature, salinity and circulation in the Gulf of Alaska. This has led to work on the freshwater budgets for these waters that include the effects of melting glaciers on Alaska's coastal circulation. More recently, I have been working with fisheries scientists to understand the impacts of global and region climate change on fish populations in waters adjacent to Alaska. My work continues to explore interdisciplinary approaches to addressing ecosystem problems and in the application of new techniques that will allow cost effective measurements of ocean circulation and structure. I left SFOS in 1997 for a decade of studies in Chesapeake Bay while at Old Dominion University.

I now live at the southern end of the GAK line on the south shore of Maui where I have become involved with local ecological issues including coral reef restoration and freshwater budgets. I continue to serve on scientific committees in Alaska and elsewhere in the North Pacific. My most active research involves studies of the migration of the early settlers to North American. It is based on the premise that they came by sea rather than land.