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This profile was last updated on 11/25/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Bruce J. Peterson

Wrong Dr. Bruce J. Peterson?


Phone: (508) ***-****  
Email: p***@***.edu
Marine Biological Laboratory
104 & 105 Lillie Building, 7 MBL Street
Woods Hole , Massachusetts 02543
United States

Company Description: The Marine Biological Laboratory is dedicated to scientific discovery and improving the human condition through research and education in biology, biomedicine, and...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Ph.D.
    Cornell University
  • Bachelor's Degree , Biology
    Bates College
39 Total References
Web References
Marine Biological Laboratory | Polar Field Services, 25 Nov 2013 [cached]
Max Holmes (Woods Hole Research Center) and Bruce Peterson (Marine Biological Lab) on the Arctic Great Rivers Observatory (Arctic-GRO) project.
This entry was posted in Alaska, Arctic, National Science Foundation, Oceanography and tagged Arctic Circumpolar Coastal Observatory Network, Arctic Ocean, Arctic-GRO, Bruce Peterson, Kolyma River, Lena River, Mackenzie River, Marine Biological Laboratory, Max Holmes, Ob' River, Yenisey River, Yukon River on
Bruce J. Peterson, a senior ..., 16 Feb 2013 [cached]
Bruce J. Peterson, a senior scholar at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has been selected by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) to receive the 2013 Alfred C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors the career achievements of an aquatic scientist whose work is recognized for its importance and long-term influence. Dr. Peterson is being honored for "innovative and transformative studies of carbon, nutrient, and water cycles at process, ecosystem, and global scales. He will receive the award at the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting in New Orleans on February 17.
Dr. Peterson has made seminal contributions in fields ranging from oceanography to limnology, biogeochemistry, ecology, and hydrology. Among these are his use of new methods of analysis, his excellence as a synthesizer, and numerous scientific publications.
"I'm surprised and very excited," said Dr. Peterson, who began his career at the MBL nearly 40 years ago.
Throughout his career, Dr. Peterson has studied the cycles that influence ecosystem behavior. His work is relevant to the management and prediction of ecosystem properties in Arctic streams and rivers, nitrogen cycling in headwater streams and estuaries, and the impacts of climate change on the freshwater cycle of the Arctic.
IMAGE: This is MBL senior scholar Bruce Peterson. Click here for more information.
Much of Dr. Peterson's research has been based at Alaska's Toolik Field Station, where, for the last 30 years, he and his colleagues have conducted a nutrient enrichment experiment in the Kuparuk River. The experiment has revealed a general principle of how streams respond to disturbance and is being used as a prototype in the National Ecological Observatory Network, a National Science Foundation-funded observation system that will gather ecological and climate data over the next 30 years at more than 60 terrestrial and aquatic observatory sites across the U.S.
"Bruce has been, from the beginning, a wonderfully creative thinker about how ecosystems work," said Christopher Neill, Director of the MBL Ecosystems Center.
Dr. Peterson also pioneered the tracer approach to investigation of the nitrogen cycle of streams. The technique, first developed for an experiment in the Kuparuk River, has transformed the study of streams and is now used worldwide. "That one experiment has led to many experiments around the world that use this approach," says Dr. Peterson. "I've been really fortunate in that regard, some of the experiments that I have developed with MBL colleagues and others have spawned whole networks of research-it's a real joy."
According to Dr. Peterson, a particularly rewarding part of his career has been working with Russian collaborators to study the freshwater cycle of the Arctic. "I lived during the Cold War and drills at school had us preparing for a nuclear attack," said Dr. Peterson, "My dad was an expert in anti-submarine warfare and spent his career tracking Russian submarines. So, it was particularly gratifying to travel to the great rivers of northern Russia and find that Russian scientists were willing to share information and help us understand global change in the Arctic. Now known as the Arctic Great Rivers Observatory, the NSF-funded project has made fundamental advances in the understanding of land-ocean interactions in the Arctic and has set the baseline against which to judge future changes in the Arctic.
Dr. Peterson received a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. He performed postdoctoral research on the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study and at North Carolina State University. He joined the MBL's Ecosystems Center in 1976, rising up the ranks from postdoctoral associate to senior scientist. Dr. Peterson is a member of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Estuarine Research Federation, and the MBL Corporation. In 2008, Dr. Peterson shared ASLO's John Martin Award with Richard Eppley of Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
::Association of Energy Engineers, New York Chapter - June / July 2003 Newsletter::, 1 July 2003 [cached]
"We're changing the world's hydrological cycle, and we have to keep a close eye on this," says the lead author of that study, Bruce J. Peterson, a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
Global warming photography, climate change science, weather, arctic, antarctica, climate zones, glacier, effects of climate change, paleoclimate, 11 Nov 2012 [cached]
Early in 1999 I sought advice from Dr. Ray Bradley of University of Massachusetts and Dr. Bruce Peterson of the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole MA, among other scientists.
In a report, published in the ... [cached]
In a report, published in the August 25, 2006 issue of the journal, Science, MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) senior scientist Bruce J. Peterson and his colleagues describe a first-of-its-kind effort to create a big-picture view of hydrologic trends in the Arctic. Their analysis reveals that freshwater increases from Arctic Ocean sources appear to be highly linked to a fresher North Atlantic.
"The high-latitude freshwater cycle is one of the most sensitive barometers of the impact of changes in climate and broad-scale atmospheric dynamics because of the polar amplification of the global warming signal," says Peterson. "It's easiest to measure these changes in the Arctic and the better we understand this system, the sooner we will know what is happening to the global hydrologic cycle."
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The multi-disciplinary team of scientists led by Peterson calculated annual and cumulative freshwater input anomalies (deviations from expected levels) from net precipitation on the ocean surface, river discharge, net attrition of glaciers, and Arctic Ocean sea ice melt and export for the latter half of the 20th century.
"This synthesis allows us to judge which freshwater sources are the largest, but more importantly shows how the significance of different sources have changed over the past decades and what has caused the changes," says Peterson.
Peterson and his colleagues contend that the interplay between the NAO and NAM, and continued rising temperatures from global greenhouse warming, will likely determine whether the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans will continue to freshen. But the scientists caution that the difficultly in predicting fluctuations in atmospheric circulation makes it impossible to know where we might be headed.
"Atmospheric modes of circulation such as the NAO and NAM exert a great deal of control on net precipitation in the ocean and even on regional temperatures, and hence ice melt as well," says Peterson.
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