Sonya Legg

Please note: I will not be taking on any new graduate students or postdocs during the 2022-2023 application period. 

I am a physical oceanographer and Associate Director of the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System at Princeton University, through which I collaborate closely with the NOAA-GFDL . I teach Atmospheric and Oceanic Wave Dynamics (AOS 572) every spring semester, and advise graduate students in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences PhD program

Research Interests

My research interests focus on the physics and dynamics of the ocean circulation. In particular, I am interested in ocean mixing driven by breaking internal waves, overflows and gravity currents, and deep convection. Motivated by ocean observations, I use a combination of numerical simulations and theory to understand the mixing processes. I collaborate with climate model developers to implement improved representation of these small-scale processes into climate prediction models, and explore the impact of small-scale mixing on the large-scale ocean circulation and climate.

Broadening participation and representation in geoscience

I am an active participant in several organizations for mentoring and supporting women in geoscience: Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention (MPOWIR), Princeton Women in Geosciences (PWiGs), and Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN).  I am working to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in climate science through membership and mentoring in SACNAS and participation in the NSF-funded Geosciences Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity (GOLD) program, as well as development of outreach and education programs in the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System (CIMES). I am a co-PI of the NSF-funded Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Geoscience: Inclusivity, Leadership, Experience (AGILE) project , and an advisor for the Polar Impact  mentorship project.