Spotlight: Sam Potter

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Sam and some Kettle KornSam is a new Postdoctoral Research Fellow at JISAO working with Dargan Frierson, an associate professor in the University of Washington's Atmospheric Sciences department. Sam plans to study the impact of tropical dynamics on midlatitude storms using idealized and comprehensive atmospheric general circulation models. 

Sam received his Ph.D from the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences program at Princeton University, a department that is closely affiliated with NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Sam studied the large scale circulation of the atmosphere using idealized models. Much of his research concerned superrotation, a state of the atmosphere where equatorial winds move faster than the planet beneath them. Sam also studied the impact of seasonality in dry atmospheres, equatorial waves, and the general circulation of extreme hothouse atmospheres. 

During his time at Princeton, Sam was able to participate in several projects that took him away from computer screens. Sam spent a summer working with rotating tank experiments at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In 2012 he was an assistant on the A22 repeat hydrographic research cruise from Woods Hole to Aruba on the R/V Atlantis. Sam also spent a month in the Sam and Caitlin hikingSimien Mountains National Park of Northern Ethiopia where his girlfriend (now wife) Caitlin was doing behavioral research on juvenile gelada monkeys. 

Before central New Jersey, Sam received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Minnesota, Morris. Sam also grew up in rural western Minnesota, three hours west of the Twin Cities.

In his spare time Sam likes to walk, finding new places in town and hiking in parks and forests. He is excited for the summer when it is possible to be above 8,000 feet without a pair of skis.