John E. Hart

Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder.



Address: Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, CB311 

              Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 80309.


Phone: 303-492-8568/4248




B.A., Physics, Amherst College, Magna Cum Laude, 1966


Ph.D., Meteorology and Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,1970.


Research Interests:


Prof. Hart’s research focused on modeling of motions in planetary atmospheres and oceans, and the use of microgravity laboratory experimentation to address critical issues in these fields. Of particular current interest is the transition to chaos in stably stratified rotating fluids subject to baroclinic instability, and the extraction of low order dynamics from fully resolved numerical, as well as laboratory, experiments. Thermal convection with rapid rotation is also being explored with computer simulation and laboratory experiments. He is using both techniques to look for possible processes responsible for planetary jets. Hart has served as associate editor of Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics and the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, and was on the editorial board of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans.


Academic Positions:


Professor Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences,  Univ. Colorado 2006-present..

Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences,  Univ. Colorado 1997-2006.

Director (acting), Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Univ. Colorado 1998- 1999

Professor, Astrogeophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences Univ. Colorado 1975-1997

Associate Professor, Meteorology and Oceanography, M.I.T. 1973-1974

Assistant Professor, Astrogeophysics, Univ. Colorado. 1971-1973


Honors and Awards:


In 1997 Hart was the recipient of the inaugural Verner E. Suomi Medal from the American Meteorological Society recognizing his "fundamental contributions to meteorology and oceanography through innovative laboratory studies of geophysical fluids."  He has received several citations from NASA for his leading role in the Geophysical Fluid Flow Cell (GFFC) microgravity experiment on the Space Shuttle Missions SL-3 and USML-2.  He received a Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation in 1995, and the C.G. Rossby award from MIT in 1970.  He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.  Prof. Hart's scientific photographs have been published in many periodicals, and have won numerous awards including Boulder Art Center and Nikon International Microscopy Competition honors.




John has always been interested in the outdoors, with photography being a catalyst for exploring mountains, savannahs, and other wild places.  His travels have taken him from the wilderness of the Alaska to the swamps of Botswana, in order to walk with and photograph the wildlife.  Recently he became interested in stereo photography, partly as a technical challenge, and partly as a means to capture and display (in virtual reality) the exquisite geometrical patterns and colors of nature.  This led him to take up rock climbing, at the ripe young age of 55, in order to descend ordinarily inaccessible sandstone slots and waterfall canyons.  These adventures are chronicled on John's photosite .


Selected Publications:


Lopez, J.M., Hart, J.E., Marques, F., Kittelman, S., and Shen, J., "Instability and mode interactions in a differentially driven rotating cylinder," J. Fluid Mech.,  2002.


Hart, J.E., Kittelman, S., and Ohlsen, D.O., "Mean flow precession and temperature PDF's in turbulent rotating convection," Physics of Fluids, 14, 955-962, 2002.


Hart, J.E., "Ferromagnetic rotating Couette flow: The role of magnetic viscosity," J. Fluid Mech., 453, 21 - 38, 2002.


Hart, J.E., "The modulation of convection by a lateral shear," J. Atmos. Sci., 57, 1169-1180, 2000.


Hart, J.E., "On the influence of centrifugal buoyancy on rotating convection," J. Fluid Mech., 403, 133-151, 2000.


Brummell, Hart, J.E., and J. Lopez, "On the flow induced by centrifugal buoyancy in a differentially-heated rotating cylinder," Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, 14, 39 - 54, 2000.


Hart, J.E. and Ohlsen, D.R, "On the thermal offset in rapidly rotating turbulent thermal convection," Physics of Fluids, 8, 2102 – 2107, 1999.


Hart, J.E., "On nonlinear corrections to Ekman pumping,"Physics of Fluids, 12, 131-135, 2000.


Hart, J.E., and D.R. Ohlsen, "The thermal offset in turbulent rotating convection," Physics of Fluids, 11, 2101-2107, 1999.


Hart, J.E., Adler, B., and Leben, R., "Cyclonic/anticyclonic gyre asymmetries: Laboratory and intermediate model experiments", Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 27, 219 – 233, 1997.


Hart, J.E., "On non-linear Ekman surface layer pumping," J. Physical Oceanography, 26, 1370-1374, 1996.


Hart, J.E., and Kittelman, S., "Instabilities of the sidewall boundary layer in a differentially driven rotating cylinder," Physics of Fluids, 8, 692 – 696, 1966.


Hart, J.E., and Mundt, M, "Instability of the oscillatory Stokes-Stewartson layer," J. Fluid Mech., 311, 119 – 140, 1996.


Hart, J.E., "Nonlinear Ekman suction and ageostrophic effects in rapidly rotating fluids," Geophys. and Astrophys. Fluid Dyn., 79, 201 – 222, 1995.


Mundt, M.D., Brummell, N., and Hart, J.E., "Linear and nonlinear baroclinic instability with no-slip sidewalls," J. Fluid Mech., 291, 109 – 138, 1995.


Mundt, M.D., Hart, J.E., and Ohlsen, D.R., "Symmetry, sidewalls, and the transition to chaos in baroclinic systems," J. Fluid Mech., 300, 311 – 338, 1995.


Brummell, N., and Hart, J.E., "High Rayleigh number Beta convection," Geophys. and Astrophys. Fluid Dyn., 68, 85 – 114, 1993.