Albert Semtner, professor of oceanography emeritus at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., died Dec. 15, 2018, at age 77.
Semtner earned a degree in mathematics from Caltech in 1963 and a master’s in math from UCLA in 1968. He earned a Ph.D. in geophysical fluid dynamics from Princeton in 1973.
Semtner served in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps as a lieutenant commander. He then had a distinguished academic and scientific research career, starting on the faculty of the Department of Meteorology at UCLA. In 1976 he joined the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., as a research oceanographer.
In 1986 he became a professor of oceanography at the Naval Postgraduate School, retiring in 2005 as professor emeritus. Semtner was a pioneer in the utilization of state-of-the-art computing systems coupled with his insight to advance the understanding of the role of the world’s oceans in the Earth’s climate system. He was a mentor to generations of students and young scientists. Among his awards and honors is the 1993 Smithsonian Leadership Award in Breakthrough Computational Science.
He is survived by his wife, Jolene; two children (from his first marriage to Linda Mattson, now Rhines); and three grandchildren.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.