Josh Kohut, PhD, MTS Fellow, graduated cum laude in 1997 with a B.S. in physics from the College of Charleston and earned his Ph.D. in physical oceanography from Rutgers University in 2002.
Since then, he has been a central player in the Rutgers University Center for Ocean Observing Leadership serving in several capacities including Technical Director and now as a member of the Faculty Leadership. Using networks of ocean observing technologies, his research and extension programs focus on the physical ocean processes that structure marine ecosystems.
To accomplish this, Josh was an early adopter of HF Radar and underwater glider technologies, and has remained at the forefront of their development, operation and use for over two decades.
Perhaps the most scientifically significant of Josh’s technology applications was the glider he deployed ahead of Hurricane Irene. Josh’s glider was used to identify the previously unrecognized rapid mixing and extreme cooling response of the coastal ocean that then fed back on Irene’s intensity. The discovery was published in Nature Communications and was fundamental to establishing the US Hurricane Glider Sentinel Program in 2018.
Josh then adapted his Mid-Atlantic HF Radar and glider technologies to the extreme and remote environment in the coastal seas surrounding Antarctica. He and his students have documented how ocean fronts and eddies focus the food web and drive penguin foraging ecology. By deploying marine technology within an integrated polar observatory, he and his team are able to map and track the mechanisms that structure these polar ecosystems.
Kohut has accumulated a decade-long record of consistent and prolific contributions to the Marine Technology Society. Since 2010, Josh has been an author on nine peer-reviewed publications in the MTS Journal, two of the articles as first author. The articles focus on the use of new ocean observing technologies for science and societal applications.
In 2013, he volunteered as the faculty advisor to the Rutgers MTS student section, a position he still holds today. Through this advisory position, Josh inspired a significant increase in Rutgers student participation in technology development and research applications, activities that often culminated in posters and presentations at OCEANS conferences. Since 2014, Josh has been the co-author on 75 published OCEANS proceedings papers, 13 of which have two students’ that Josh advised as first author.
Kohut has now started organizing state-wide meetings of the different MTS student sections across all the universities in New Jersey. The objective is to further broaden participation, expand the student’s network of contacts, and inspire multiple small groups of students to work together on projects that cross between universities.
To expand beyond Rutgers and New Jersey, in 2017, he became the founding Director of the MTS Glider Technology Camp at Rutgers. The Camp transformed an existing glider training program and enhanced it to meet MTS standards. By setting up this Technology Camp, he became even more familiar with MTS education programs and their importance.