Robert Pinkel is a professor of oceanography and associate director of the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
Pinkel has played a central role in the development of acoustical oceanography through his pioneering contributions to acoustical Doppler methods for oceanographic measurement and his subsequent use of Doppler techniques for the study of internal waves, mixing, and related processes in the upper ocean.
Pinkel also leads the Ocean Physics Group at Scripps. The group designs and deploys unique instruments to study ocean dynamics.
Major research projects led by Pinkel include the Hawaii Ocean-Mixing Experiment (HOME), which studied mixing, internal waves and tidal forces around the Hawaiian islands, and development of the Hydrographic Doppler Sonar System, which has measured ocean velocities and shears with very high precision.
Pinkel was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree in physical oceanography and Ph.D. in physical oceanography, both from Scripps.
Pinkel received the Walter Munk Award for Distinguished Research in Oceanography Related to Sound and the Sea, granted jointly by The Oceanography Society, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy.