Faculty Members Earn Grant for Wave Forecast System

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Three Florida Tech faculty members have received first-year funding totaling more than $113,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) to collaborate on a project for forecasting waves in the ocean and in coastal zones. The project is expected to run three years with
a total of $357,000 in NOAA funding.

Faculty members, from the university’s Department of Marine and Environmental Systems, are Associate Professor Steven Lazarus, Professor Gary Zarillo and
Assistant Professor Sen Chiao. The team will develop a high-resolution, local-to-regional scale wave model and atmospheric forecast model, which will
extend into the coastal zone. Currently the NOAA/NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) WaveWatch model provides only open-ocean wave

“Some of the value of what we’ll add to the existing models will be the high resolution and the coastal zone data, which would affect swimmers, surfers and
small boats in those areas” said Lazarus. “It will be a virtual system, designed to go anywhere it’s needed by weather forecast offices.” Initially, it
most likely will be placed in offices in Melbourne and Miami.

The team will access data from about six buoys off Cape Canaveral, the Brevard County coast and Sebastian Inlet. Zarillo will conduct wave modeling,
Chiao’s responsibility is atmospheric modeling and Lazarus will focus on data assimilation.

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