Oceanographer & climate scientist

  • About

  • I am a graduate student at Oregon State University studying the Southern Ocean's role in climate with my advisor, Laurie Juranek.

    My research utilizes robotic floats with biogeochemical sensors to observe the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean as part of the SOCCOM project.

  • Research Interests

    • the marine carbon system

      carbonate system chemistry

      ocean carbon uptake

      ocean acidification

      chemical sensors

      climate quality data

      Southern Ocean

  • Media


  • download cv
  • in prep Gray, A. R., K. S. Johnson, S. M. Bushinsky, S. C. Riser, J. L. Russell, L. D. Talley, R. Wanninkhof, N. L. Williams, and J. L. Sarmiento. A Southern Ocean source of carbon dioxide detected with autonomous biogeochemical floats.
    in review Carter, B., R. A. Feely, N. L. Williams, A. G. Dickson, M. B. Fong, and Y. Takeshita. Updated Methods for Global Locally-Interpolated Estimation of Alkalinity, pH, and Nitrate, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods.
    in review Williams, N. L., R. A. Feely, L. W. Juranek, J. L. Russell, and K. S. Johnson. Seasonal cycles in pH and aragonite saturation state in the Southern Ocean and projections for long-term change. J. Geophys. Res. Ocean. SOCCOM Special Issue.
    in press Johnson, K. S., J. Plant, L. Coletti, H. Jannasch, C. Sakamoto, S. Riser, D. Swift, J. L. Sarmiento, L. D. Talley, and Williams, N. L.. Chemical sensor performance in the SOCCOM profiling float array. J. Geophys. Res. Ocean. SOCCOM Special Issue, doi: 10.1002/2017JC012838.
    2017 Williams, N. L., L. W. Juranek, R. A. Feely, K. S. Johnson, J. L. Sarmiento, L. D. Talley, J. L. Russell, S. C. Riser, A. G. Dickson, A. R. Gray, R. Wanninkhof, and Y. Takeshita. Calculating surface ocean pCO2 from biogeochemical Argo floats: An uncertainty analysis, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 31, doi: 10.1002/2016GB005541.
    2016 Wanninkhof, R. et al., An evaluation of pH and NO3 sensor data from SOCCOM floats and their utilization to develop ocean inorganic carbon products: A summary of discussions and recommendations of the Carbon Working Group (CWG) of SOCCOM, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton, New Jersey. Link to report.
    2016 Williams, N. L., L. W. Juranek, K. S. Johnson, R. A. Feely, S. C. Riser, L. D. Talley, J. L. Russell, J. L. Sarmiento, and R. Wanninkhof. Empirical algorithms to estimate water column pH in the Southern Ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43(7), 3415–3422, doi: 10.1002/2016GL068539.
    2016 Carter, B., N. L. Williams, R. A. Feely, and A. Gray. Locally Interpolated Alkalinity Regression for Global Alkalinity Estimation, Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. doi:10.1002/lom3.10087.
    2015 Williams, N. L., R. A. Feely, C. L. Sabine, A. G. Dickson, J. H. Swift, L. D. Talley, and J. L. Russell, Quantifying Anthropogenic Carbon Inventory Changes in the Pacific Sector of the Southern Ocean, Mar. Chem., 174, 147–160, doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2015.06.015.
    2009 Millero, F. J., F. Huang, N. Williams, J. Waters, and R. Woosley. The effect of composition on the density of South Pacific Ocean waters, Mar. Chem., 114(1–2), 56–62, doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2009.04.001.


    As we continue to harm our planet through fossil fuel burning and land-use changes there is a growing need for scientists to communicate effectively to the public about climate science. Over time I have realized that for a public audience it is not necessary for me to be able to explain every detail about my research, but rather that I be able to talk about the basics of climate science. I am working to improve my skills at every opportunity and often volunteer at NOAA in Seattle to present to groups of visiting college students about the work of the PMEL marine carbon group. I also volunteer each summer to lead activities about ocean circulation for NOAA Science Camp where middle schoolers spend a week learning about earth and ocean sciences, and I volunteer with the Seattle Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS) program. I have also volunteered at the Expanding Your Horizons Conference to teach middle school girls about ocean acidification using hands-on activities. I recently participated in ComSciCon-PNW 2017, The Communicating Science workshop for graduate students at Google Seattle and I am looking forward to putting my new science communication skills into action.


I have been lucky to visit some pretty special places during my work and studies in Oceanography. Here are a few photos:

Landing on the Ross Sea

In 2011 I traveled to McMurdo base to participate in the S04P CLIVAR cruise. We sailed for 64 days from McMurdo base to Punta Arenas, Chile. The airstrip at McMurdo was literally on top of the Ross Sea ice!

Icebergs and Glaciers

Icebergs traveling out of the Ross Sea with immense glaciers in the background.

Adelie indecision

These two Adelie penguins had probably never seen a ship before and I'm not sure they knew what to do.

Easter Island

After journeying from San Diego to Easter Island taking water samples along the way we finally got to see the famous Moai of Rapa Nui.


  • College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
    Oregon State University
    104 CEOAS Administration Building
    Corvallis, OR 97331-5502
  • nancy.williams@oregonstate.edu