We are delighted to announce that Stephen Griffies, a senior scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and member of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences faculty at Princeton University, has just taken over as Editor in Chief (EiC) of the Journal of Advances in Modeling the Earth System (JAMES). We asked him some questions about his own research interests and his vision for the journal.
What are your own areas of scientific interest?
My research is concerned with geophysical fluid mechanics and the role of the ocean in the earth climate system. I make use of theoretical concepts, idealized process physics models, realistic numerical circulation models, and field measurements. Some of my particular research topics in recent years include studies of Atlantic and Southern Ocean dynamics; global and regional sea level variability and change; transport of matter and energy by mesoscale and submesoscale eddies; subgrid scale parameterizations of turbulent ocean stirring and mixing; analysis methods aimed at conceptually understanding ocean circulation and transport; and mathematical methods for ocean circulation models.
In brief, I am a mathematical physicist interested in the ocean, its modeling, and its role in the climate system. I work at both a national laboratory and a university. These dual roles mean that I appreciate the aspirations of those working for years (even decades) on developing sophisticated earth system models, as well as the complementary aspirations of those making use of model hierarchies for targeted academic research.
I believe that these two perspectives will be useful in my role as Editor in Chief of JAMES.
What does it mean to you to serve as Editor in Chief of JAMES?
First and foremost, it is a huge honor to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors, Robert Pincus (EiC from 2015-2020) and Dave Randall (EiC from 2009-2015). Their vision and leadership have created a premier journal serving the needs of geoscientists focused on modeling the Earth’s outer envelope, i.e., the physics, chemistry, and biology of the atmosphere, ocean, land surface, and cryosphere. I am also supportive of their vision for making JAMES an open access journal, meaning that all articles are freely available to read without a subscription or payment.
What makes JAMES so special?
Numerical models have emerged as a core part of 21st century earth system science by enabling experimental approaches in a discipline where controlled direct experiments are unavailable. By doing so, models facilitate the exploration of targeted fundamental processes and the role of those processes within the broader dynamical earth system.
Although relatively new (founded in 2009), JAMES has become the go-to journal supporting the intellectual foundations of dynamical models and the science emerging from their use to understand and predict the earth system.
JAMES is a place where significant model-based science stories can be told in a rigorous and thorough manner, nurturing papers that contribute to advancing the science of models and modeling. This role for JAMES is critical to the scientific integrity of models and their use, with many applications targeting important societal needs such as weather and climate prediction and climate change projections.
What are some of the challenges of leading JAMES?
One specific challenge, encountered daily, concerns ensuring a fair and thorough peer-review for each submission, and in turn the promotion of a review process that supports and enhances the science story of every submission.
I am also quite concerned about how JAMES, and the broader geoscience community, responds to the rapidly changing world of data accessibility. Allowing for data access is important for reproducibility of published results. However, there are many details and nuances that challenge aspirations, and the community as a whole has yet to converge on a set of principles and practices. These issues are particularly important for JAMES authors, so the journal editorial board will need to take a lead role in these matters.
Another challenge, which I suspect all Editors-in-Chief face, is how to promote the journal’s aims and scope in a way that clearly serves the science community while also maintaining a forward vision that adapts to evolving research priorities and opportunities.
How do you plan to take the journal forward in the coming years?
There are exciting areas emerging in the earth system modeling community, and the editorial board will do its best to maneuver JAMES to be at the center of their publication. An incomplete sampling of such emerging areas include machine learning and its use for both representing and parameterizing fundamental processes; refined resolution simulations of clouds and ocean eddies as venues to help uncover the role of these processes in earth system dynamics; further extensions of earth system model capabilities (e.g., evolving ecosystems, ice sheets and ice shelves) and model hierarchies; novel methods for state estimation, data assimilation; and dynamical cores for global models.
I have been an Editor for JAMES since 2018, in charge of the ocean and cryosphere section, and I have particular interest in seeing the journal continue its growth in these areas. In effect, I wish to ensure that JAMES deliberately and thoughtfully embraces earth system modeling from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere. Finally, I am committed to ensuring that JAMES reaches into all corners of the scientific world to serve the international geoscience community without concern for any borders.