Summary of 6-mo committee meeting
3-4 pm, January 29, 2001, Scott Veirs

Attending: Russ McDuff, Jeff Parsons, Will Wilcock, Glenn Cannon, Bill Lavelle
Committee members not attending: Susan Hautala and Steve Porter (graduate representative)


As this was the first meeting of my new supervisory committee, I began by provided the attendees with a brief summary of my history at the UW and my teaching activities while on leave. I also summarized the specific progress I have made over the past 6 months (see attached outline, "Progress" section).

During the next ~30 minutes we strayed from the agenda. My 10 minute presentation of research and teaching plans for the next 6 months (see attached outline, "Plan") metamorphosed into a 30 minute presentation interspersed with a number of queries from my advisors. I began by stating my general problem: "How do hydrothermal plumes, hydrography, and currents interact?" About half way through I deployed my fall AGU poster and we discussed some of the details of the data I am planning to analyze. Towards the end I spent some time at the white board sketching ideas for preliminary GFD laboratory experiments.

Committee recommendations:

  1. Parsons: consider whether your laboratory experiment is encompassed in the John Bush's research on line sources of buoyancy in rotating, stratified fluid.
  2. Wilcock asked: If you put the source on the bottom of the tank, would you not be able to study how it interacts with the bottom boundary layer in a way that is analogous to the mid-ocean ridge envioronment? (Parsons seemed to have concerns that the analogy might not scale correctly...)
  3. Wilcock, Lavelle, and Parsons wondered how a mean flow might best be created in a rotating tank, and whether Scott had examined the scaling of the problem to see if plume dynamics could be observed prior to contaminating the tank with the plume source fluid. Scott agreed to work with Wilcock and Parsons to better understand dimensional analyses and scaling arguments.
  4. Wilcock asked what were lead TA responsibilities and Scott's plan for a new Huckabay proposal, and then suggested that Peter Rhines might have insights into how to market a new oceanography course through the Program on the Environment.
  5. McDuff suggested that Rick Kiel had successfully organized a project-based class that utilized the Web.
  6. Scott was asked when he hoped to take the general exam. There were no objections to or comments on his suggestion of mid-to-late spring quarter, 2001. Scott stated that he would circulate a new draft of his dissertation proposal within a week and looked forward to assistance in honing his research objectives.
  7. Parsons asked to what standard Scott expected to complete a GFD experiment by the end of winter quarter, 2001. Scott replied that it would likely be a prelimary study, only published on the course web page, but that his intent was to use the experience to design a more detailed project that would supplement the observations and modeling efforts in his thesis.
  8. McDuff summarized the meeting by suggesting that Scott's plan was characteristically ambitious, but thought that if progress during past 6 months was indicative, the plan might actually be accomplished.
Note: Scott resolves to ask more pointed questions in order to solicit more directed advice (specific recommendations) during upcoming meetings.


Scott Veirs


Russ McDuff, Committee Chair