History of CCPO

In 1991, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) established the Commonwealth Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO) at Old Dominion University to promote research on the physical oceanography of the coastal ocean and related oceanographic processes. The coastal ocean is the focus of expanded research activity because of both short-term anthropogenic impacts due to the proximity to large human populations as well as changes due to long-term variations in the Earth's climate. Fundamental questions about coastal ocean physics need to be answered if human impact and global change are to be assessed appropriately.

Housed in Innovation Research Building 1, CCPO is located in the ODU University Village. The Center provides office and laboratory facilities for 6 full-time faculty and their complement of research associates, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and support staff. Oceanographic observing systems include CTDs, current meters, and ADCPs. The Center has a state-of-the-art computer system based on Sun, Windows and Linux operating systems with file servers, computational computers and individual workstations. Advanced computational resources are available through a distributed cluster with about 200 cores. A full-time computer systems engineer maintains the system and provides support for CCPO researchers.

CCPO supports and facilitates innovative research on the physical oceanography of the coastal ocean and other coastal related processes through federal, state and university funding which allows faculty, visitors, students, consultants, and research associates to focus their efforts on specific research topics. Research supported efforts by the Center includes regional coastal circulation models forced by winds, tides, rivers, heat and salt flux, and glacial basal melt; observation of estuarine circulation, mixing and oxygen dynamics; large eddy simulation of turbulence in the coastal ocean; wind energy potential over coastal waters; growth and dispersion of larvae; physiology and genetics models of various animals and ecosystems; and, food web calculations. The Center is particularly interested in the coupling of realistic physical models to ecosystems models in innovative ways.