Larry Breaker

Larry Breaker

Adjunct Faculty Member

Department:  Physical Oceanography



phone (based in Ecuador): 593-09-3981-6324


Currently Adjunct Professor at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML). Previously, as Visiting Scientist, coordinated the seminar series at the laboratory for the 2001-02 academic year. Presently serving as lead PI on a NASA-funded project to use ocean models and SAR imagery to estimate cloud-related biases in our understanding of the upper ocean during periods of extended cloud cover off the California coast. Have received Sea Grant awards to (1) reconstruct the 82-year time series of daily sea surface temperature at Hopkins Marine Station, (2) produce a climatology of ocean fronts off the California coast using imagery from the GOES-10 geostationary satellite, and (3), develop statistical models or proxies to predict offshore parameters based on coastal observations. Reconstruction of the Hopkins times series has led to three manuscripts that have been submitted for publication related to the reconstruction and analysis of this record. Co-taught graduate courses in Satellite Oceanography (2002) and Ocean Modeling (2003). Advising students on thesis-related research. Consulted for Duke Power on the impact of thermal discharge in Morro Bay (2001). Consultant for Monterey Peninsula College on the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) program.

Awards and Honors:
  • Selected to make two deep dives aboard Deep Research Vehicle ALVIN in the Tongue-of-the-Ocean, Bahamas (1967).
  • Offered Chair in Remote Sensing at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1986 and 1999.
  • Nominated and accepted for inclusion in American Men and Women of Science (1997).
  • Appointed to serve on the Environmental Policy Commission for the City of Alexandria, Virginia  (1997-1999).
  • Received NOAA’s Bronze Medal for major contributions to the Coastal Marine Demonstration Project sponsored by the National Ocean Partnership Program (2000).
  • Appointed to serve on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council  (2007).
  • Who’s Who in America in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
  • Selected to serve on a National Academy of Sciences committee to address sea level rise for the U.S. West Coast.  Contributed to a final report entitled “Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington”, published by the National Research Council (2012), 201 pp.
Selected Publications
  • Breaker, L.C. and C.N.K. Mooers, 1986. Oceanic variability off the central California coast. Progress in Oceanography 17, 61-135.
  • Breaker, L.C. and W.W. Broenkow, 1993. The circulation of Monterey Bay and related processes. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 32, 1-64.
  • Breaker, L.C., P.C. Liu and C. Torrence, 2001. Intraseasonal oscillations in sea surface temperature, wind stress and sea level off the central California coast. Continental Shelf Research 21, 727-750.
  • Breaker, L.C., 2007. A closer look at regime shifts based on coastal observations along the eastern boundary of the North Pacific. Continental Shelf Research 27, 2250-2277.
  • Breaker, L.C., W.W. Broenkow, W.E. Watson and Y-H. Jo, 2008.Tidal and non-tidal oscillations in Elkhorn Slough, California. Estuaries and Coasts 31, 239-257.
  • Breaker, L.C., Y-H. Tseng and X. Xiaochun, 2010.  On the natural oscillations of Monterey Bay: Observations, modeling, and origins. Progress in Oceanography 86, 380-395.
  • Breaker, L.C., E.M. Armstrong and C. A. Endris. 2010. Establishing an objective basis for compositing in satellite oceanography. Remote Sensing of Environment 114, 345-362.
  • Breaker, L.C., and A. Ruzmaikin, 2011. The 154-year record of sea level at San Francisco: extracting the long-term trend, recent changes, and other tidbits. Climate Dynamics 36, 545-559.
  • Breaker, L.C., T.S. Murty and D. Carroll, 2014. A frequency domain approach for predicting the signal strength of tsunamis at coastal tide gauges. Journal of Coastal Research 30, 562-574.
  • Breaker, L.C., 2019. Long-term changes in sea surface temperature off the coast of central California and Monterey Bay from 1920 to 2014: Are they commensurate? Coastal and Marine Physical Processes and Numerical Modeling, J.S.A.D. Carmo, Ed., IntechOpen Limited, London, p. 45-74.
  • Breaker, L.C. and D. Carroll, 2019. The impact of regime shifts on long-range persistence and the scaling of sea surface temperature off the coast of California. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 124, 3206-3227.

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