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 Sea Level And Ice (329C): People
Joshua Willis's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 300-323
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Email Contact:
Curriculum Vitae:

Joshua Willis
Project Scientist - Jason-3

  • B.S., Physics & Mathematics, University of Houston, Honors College, Houston, Texas (1996)
  • M.S., Physics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (1998)
  • Ph.D., Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California (2004)

Research Interests
  • Estimating ocean warming and sea level rise on regional to global scales
  • The role of the ocean in the Earth's climate system under global climate change
  • Understanding large scale changes in the ocean and its circulation on interannual to decadal time scales
  • Development of analysis techniques for global oceanographic data sets


OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) Icon OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland)
OMG will use NASA’s G-III to fly the Glacier and Ice Surface Topography Interferometer (GLISTIN) in order to generate high resolution, high precision elevation measurements of Greenland’s coastal glaciers during the spring.

Jason-3 Icon Jason-3
Jason-3 will continue the time series of ocean surface topography data after TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and Jason-2. Launch is planned for 2015.

OSTM/Jason 2 Icon OSTM/Jason 2
OSTM/Jason-2 provides continues the legacies of TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 missions for measuring ocean surface dynamic topography.

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2004 - present)
    • OMG Principal Investogator (2014-present)
    • Jason-3 Project Scientist (2011-present)
    • Jason-2 Deputy Project Scientist (2009 - present)
    • Scientist (2006 - present)
    • Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar (2004 - 2006)

Selected Awards
  • AGU Ocean Sciences Early Career Award (2011)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2009)
  • Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2009)

Selected Publications
  1. Hobbs, W., and J. K. Willis (2013), Detection of an observed 135-year ocean temperature change from limited data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, doi:10.1002/grl.50370.
  2. Willis J. and J. Church (2012), Regional Sea Level Projection, Science, 336, pp 548-549, doi:10.1126/science.1220366.
  3. Boening, C., J. K. Willis, F. W. Landerer, R. S. Nerem, and J. Fasullo (2012), The 2011 La Niña: So strong, the oceans fell, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L19602, doi:10.1029/2012GL053055.
  4. Hobbs, W. R., and J. K. Willis (2012), Midlatitude North Atlantic heat transport: A time series based on satellite and drifter data, J. Geophys. Res., 117, C01008, doi:10.1029/2011JC007039.
  5. Leuliette, E., and J. K. Willis (2011), Balancing the Sea-level Budget, Oceanography, 24(2):122-129, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2011.32.
  6. Willis J., L. Miller, and G. Mountain (2011), Sea Level: An Introduction to the Special Issue, Oceanography, 24(2):22-23, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2011.24.
  7. Lee, T., W. R. Hobbs, J. K. Willis, D. Halkides, I. Fukumori, E. M. Armstrong, A. K. Hayashi, W. T. Liu, W. Patzert, and O. Wang (2010), Record warming in the South Pacific and western Antarctica associated with the strong central-Pacific El Niño in 2009-10, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L19704, doi:10.1029/2010GL044865.
  8. Syed, T., J. Famiglietti, D. Chambers, J. Willis and K. Hilburn (2010), Increasing Continental Freshwater Discharge from Satellite-Based Global Ocean Mass Balance (1994-2006), Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, published online Oct 4, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003292107.
  9. Chambers D. P., J. K. Willis (2010), A Global Evaluation of Ocean Bottom Pressure from GRACE, OMCT, and Steric-Corrected Altimetry, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 27, 1395-1402, doi:10.1175/2010JTECHO738.1.
  10. Willis, J.K., D. P. chambers, C.-Y. Kuo, and C. K. Shum (2010), Global Sea Level Rise: Recent Progress and Challenges for the Decade to Come, Oceanography, 23(4), 26-35.
  11. Lyman, J. M., S. A. Good, V. V. Gouretski, M. Ishii, G. C. Johnson, M. D. Palmer, D. A. Smith, and J. K. Willis (2010), Robust warming of the global upper ocean, Nature, 465, 334-337 doi:10.1038/nature09043.
  12. Willis, J. K., Can In-Situ Floats and Satellite Altimeters Detect Changes in Atlantic Ocean Overturning? (2010), Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L06602, doi:10.1029/2010GL042372.
  13. Marcus, S. L., J. O. Dickey, J. K. Willis, and F. K. Seitz (2009), Earth oblateness changes reveal land ice contribution to interannual sea level variability, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23608, doi:10.1029/2009GL041130.
  14. Chambers D. P., J. K. Willis (2009), Low-frequency exchange of mass between ocean basins, J. Geophys. Res., 114, C11008, doi:10.1029/2009JC005518.
  15. Willis, J.K., J.M. Lyman, G.C. Johnson, and J. Gilson (2009), In Situ Data Biases and Recent Ocean Heat Content Variability, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 26, 846-852.
  16. Dickey J. O., S. L. Marcus, J. K. Willis, Ocean cooling: Constraints from changes in Earth's dynamic oblateness (J 2) and altimetry (2008), Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L18608, doi:10.1029/2008GL035115.
  17. Chambers D. P., J. K. Willis (2008), Analysis of large-scale ocean bottom pressure variability in the North Pacific, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C11003, doi:10.1029/2008JC004930.
  18. Willis J. K., L.-L. Fu (2008), Combining altimeter and subsurface float data to estimate the time-averaged circulation in the upper ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C12017, doi:10.1029/2007JC004690.
  19. Wijffels, S.E., J. Willis, C.M. Domingues, P. Barker, N.J. White, A. Gronell, K. Ridgway, and J.A. Church (2008), Changing Expendable Bathythermograph Fall Rates and Their Impact on Estimates of Thermosteric Sea Level Rise. J. Climate, 21, 5657-5672.
  20. Tamrazian, A., S. LaDochy,J. Willis, and W. C. Patzert (2008), Heat Waves in Southern California: Are They Becoming More Frequent and Lasting Longer?, Yearbook of the APCG, 70, 59-69.
  21. Willis, J.K., D. P. Chambers, R. S. Nerem (2008), Assessing the Globally Averaged Sea Level Budget on Seasonal to Interannual Time Scales, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C06015, doi:10.1029/2007JC004517.
  22. Willis, J. K., J. M. Lyman, G. C. Johnson, and J. Gilson (2007), Correction to "Recent cooling of the upper ocean". Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L16601, doi:10.1029/2007GL030323.
  23. Wong, T., B. A. Wielicki, R. B. Lee, G.L. Smith, K. A. Bush, and J. K. Willis (2006), Re-examination of the observed decadal variability of earth radiation budget using altitude-corrected ERBE/ERBS nonscanner WFOV data, J. Climate, 19(16), pp. 4028-4040.
  24. Lyman, J., J. K. Willis, G. Johnson (2006), Recent cooling of the upper ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L18604, doi:10.1029/2006GL027033.
  25. Hansen, J., L. Nazarenko, R. Ruedy, M. Sato, J. Willis, A. Del Genio, D. Koch, A. Lacis, K. Lo, S. Menon, T. Novakov, J. Perlwitz, G. Russell, G.A. Schmidt, N. Tausnev (2005), Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications, Science, 308.
  26. Willis, J. K., D. Roemmich, and B. Cornuelle (2004), Interannual variability in upper-ocean heat content, temperature and thermosteric expansion on global scales, J. Geophys. Res., 109 (C12036).
  27. Willis, J. K., D. Roemmich, and B. Cornuelle (2003), Combining altimetric height with broadscale profile data to estimate steric height, heat storage, subsurface temperature, and sea-surface temperature variability, J. Geophys. Res., 108 (C9), 3292.

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