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Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

The Naval Academy boasts the most extensive undergraduate oceanographic facilities in the country. Located at the mouth of the Severn River, the Hendrix Oceanography Laboratory is a multi-function enclosure where midshipmen study the world's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. The Hendrix Lab includes a Teaching Lab, Autonomous Vehicle Lab, Microscopy Lab, and Field Lab. The Department's research vessel, YP686, a specially outfitted yard patrol craft, enables midshipmen to collect oceanographic and meteorological data for analysis afloat or at the Hendrix Lab.  The department also maintains four lab spaces in Chauvenet and Michelson Halls including an Environmental Data Lab, Geophysical  Fluid Dynamics Lab, and Coastal Oceanography Lab.

In addition, the Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Department is a Yardwide leader in applied data science, which is rapidly reshaping the way society functions. The fields of meteorology and oceanography are no different. Our major exposes students to big data and data science applied to our environment. We boast a state-of-the-art dedicated data server (EDMAPS data server), an environmental monitoring network (SRWO), and our classes emphasize techniques used to visualize real-time observations and solve challenging problems!


CAPT HendrixHendrix Oceanography Lab

The Hendrix Oceanography Lab (HOL) at the United States Naval Academy began operations in September 1985 and is named for Captain Charles N.G. (Monk) Hendrix.  The primary purpose of Hendrix is to further the education of midshipmen through hands-on access to oceanographic and meteorologic equipment and the Severn River.  The Lab supports instructional labs as well as midshipman and faculty research.  The Hendrix Lab also contributes to the Center for Chesapeake Bay Observation and Modeling (CCBOM) and supports students and faculty from other departments at the Academy.

 “The naval officer must exploit every opportunity, ashore and afloat, to comprehend the ocean environment so that he may carry out his duties efficiently, effectively, and safely.”   CAPT  Charles N.G. Hendrix    USNA ’39

The Hendrix Lab consists of 4 laboratory spaces: a teaching lab, a microscopy lab, an autonomous vehicle lab, and a field lab primarily used as swing space for maintenance and calibration of instruments, but also available for teaching labs.  The Hendrix Lab also provides access to our specially outfitted Yard Patrol Craft, YP 686, and houses the Annapolis Tide Gauge.



YP686 is one of the Academy's Yard Patrol Craft which has been outfitted specifically for oceanographic research.  The vessel carries 4 oceanographic winches, a hydraulic A-frame, 3 j-bar davits, as well as lab space and a suite of oceanographic and meteorological instruments.


686 with SO287

CH088 Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab

The Geophysical  Fluid Dynamics Lab is used to model geophysical atmospheric and oceanic phenomena, including planetary waves, jets, and currents using rotating tanks.  The rotating tanks mimic the rotation of the Earth, allowing for centrifugal forces.

Rotating Tank

Rotating Tank Two

CH221 Environmental Data Lab

The Environmental Data Lab is used for computational research and Midshipmen study.  This lab is equipped with 5 high performance computers for Midshipmen research and data intensive course work.  The Naval Academy Weather Team meets in this lab provides forecasts for USNA and the Annapolis Community.

World WeatherNA WeatherWeather Team

MI092 Coastal Oceanography Lab

The Coastal Oceanography Lab provides flexible lab space for student designed research and small projects.Crab

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