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John N. Walpert
John N. Walpert
(979) 458-9339
GERG 211

Texas A&M University
GERG 211
833 Graham Road
College Station, Texas 77845


B.S. Florida Institute of Technology, Oceanographic Technology - 1980

College of Geosciences Distinguished Achievment Award, Technical Staff, 2003

John N. Walpert

Team Leader Technical
Sr. Marine Instr. Spec.
Ocean Sciences

Research Interests

Principle areas of interest

  • Physical oceanography
  • Ocean Observing Systems
  • Systems integration & design
  • Mooring design
  • Autonomous Vehicles

Professional Experience

  • Senior Research Associate, Technical Lead
  • Senior Marine Instrumentation Specialist, Supervisor Ocean Technology Group, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, Texas A&M University 1999 - June 2013
  • Senior Marine Instrumentation Specialist, Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, Texas A&M University 1998-1999
  • Oceanographic Technician, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Government of Canada, St, John's Newfoundland, Canada 1991 - 1998
  • Senior Oceanographic Technician, Seaconsult Limited, St. John's Newfoundland, Canada 1987 - 1991
  • Senior Oceanographic Technician, Dobrocky Seatech Limited, St. John's Newfoundland, Canada, 1982-1987
  • Remotec Applications Section Head, Variable Depth Sonar and Radar Systems, St. John's Newfoundland, Canada, 1980-1982

Current projects

Technical design and day to day operation and management of the Texas Automated Buoy System (TABS).   The ocean observing stystem has been used for oilspill trajectory modelling, collecting and distributing oceanographic data and providing the general public with access to local environmental conditions in the Gulf of Mexico since 1995.

Design and fabrication of a 2000m configurable towed vehicle to collect real time  video, CTD, microstructure, water samples, ADCP, hydrocarbon sensors and other data via fiber optic cable.

Design and fabrication of a small (1.2m) solar powered coastal monitoring buoy to measure wind, waves, MET,  GPS location, currents profiles, water temperature and salinity. Data telemetry through Freewave radio or satellite.

Design and fabrication of the TABS Responder, a small, lightweight rapid response buoy.  This buoy measures profiled currents, water temperature, directional waves, wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure and GPS position.  Data telemetry is by Globalstar or Freewave radio.  Buoy can be deployed by two people from ships of opportunity without the aid of winches or cranes.

Technical lead for design and deployment of deepwater moorings to help model the diffusion of dispersed oil when released at depth in a similar fashion to the release at the Macondo wellsite following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

Technical lead for design and year long deployment of subsurface moorings near the Totten Glacier in Antarctica to determine the circulation of water influencing the thinning of Antarctica's major glaciers.

Design of a mid size (2.25m) coastal monitoring buoy to measure directional waves, current profiles, water temperature and salinity as well as other subsurface parameters and meteorological information in coastal areas to 1500m.

Design and fabrication of a Glider Lab facility at GERG to allow for the testing, ballasting, repair, setup and programing of autonomous vehicles in an environment suitable for introducing students to the versatility and benifits of using gliders, AUV's, USV's as oceanographic tools.

Mooring design and technical management for an inductive, real time observing system for the Mechanisms Controlling Hypoxia program on the Louisiana shelf and at an experimental Wind Farm site south of Galveston Texas.

Selected Publications

  • Walpert, John N., Norman L Guinasso Jr., Linwood L. Lee, Steven G. Buschang, TABS Responder - A Quick Response Buoy to Supplement the TABS Network, Proceedings from the MTS/IEEE Oceans 2014 Conference, September 9-14, 2014, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Walpert, John, NL Guinasso Jr., Linwood L. Lee, R. Martin The Texas Automated Buoy System, Sustainable Ocean Observations to Help Protect the Environment, Proceedings from MTS/IEEE Oceans 2011 Conference, September 19-22, Kona, Hawaii
  • Wade, T. L., S. T. Sweet, J. N. Walpert, J. L. Sericano, J. J. Singer, and N. L. Guinasso Jr. (2011), Evaluation of possible inputs of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill to the Loop Current and associated eddies in the Gulf of Mexico, in Monitoring and Modeling the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Record-Breaking Enterprise, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 195, edited by Y. Liu et al., pp. 83–90, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2011GM001095.
  • R.L. Mullins, S.F. DiMarco, J.N. Walpert, Norman L. Guinasso Jr., Interdisciplinary Ocean Observing on the Texas Coast. Marine Technology Journal, Vol. 45 (1), January-February, 2011 98-111
  • Walpert, John, N.L. Guinasso Jr, TABS Responder: A Quick-Response Buoy for Oil Spill Applications.  Sea Technology Magazine, Vol. 51(10), October 2010 10-13
  • Bender L.C., N.L. Guinasso Jr, J.N. Walpert, S.D. Howden, A comparison of Methods for Determining Significant Wave Heights – Applied to a 3m Discus Buoy During Hurricane Katrina, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, American Meteorological Society, Vol.27(6) June, 2010
  • Walpert, John, The Texas Automated Buoy System, A Public Resource for Oil Spill Response and Modeling, The Journal of Ocean Technology Vol. 3(3), 2008 88-89
  • Walpert, John N., Norman Guinasso Jr,. Leslie C. Bender, A New Buoy for Oceanographic and Spill Response Applications, Proceedings from MTS/IEEE Oceans 2009 Conference, Biloxi, MS, October 26-29, 2009
  • Bender, Leslie C, Normal L. Guinasso Jr., John N. Walpert, Linwood L. Lee III, Robert D. Martin, Robert D. Hetland, Steven K. Baum and Matthew K. Howard, Development, Operation, and Results From the Texas Automated Buoy System, Gulf of Mexico Science, 2007 Vol. 25(1) 34-60
  • Howden, Stephan, David Gilhousen, Norman Guinasso, John Walpert, Michael Sturgeon, Les Bender (2008).  Hurricane Katrina Winds Measured by a Buoy-Mounted Sonic Anemometer, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 25(4), 607-616.
  • Bender, LC, NL Guinasso, JN Walpert, and SD Howden, Wave heights from a 3m discus buoy during Hurricane Katrina, Proceedings of the MTS/IEEE Oceans 2008 Conference, Quebec City, Canada, Sept 15-18, 2008.
  • Howden, S, D. Gilhousen, N. Guinasso, J. Walpert, M. Sturgeon, and L. Bender, Hurricane Katrina winds measured by a buoy mounted sonic anemometer, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 5(4), 607-616, 2008.
  • Bender, LC, NL Guinasso, JN Walpert, LL Lee, RD Martin, RD Hetland, SK Baum and MK Howard, Development, Operation and Results from the Texas Automated Buoy System, Gulf of Mexico Science, 25(1), 33 – 60, 2007.
  • Campbell, L., J. N. Walpert, and N. L. Guinasso, Jr. (2008), Buoy-based in situ optical early warning detection system for harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico, Nova Hedwigia Beiheft 133, 161-170.
  • Walpert, J.N., N.L. Guinasso, Jr., Lamonte K, 2005: A New Generation of TABS II Buoy for the Texas Automated Buoy System.  Proceedings from MTS/IEEE Oceans 2005 Conference, September 18-23, 2005, Washington, D.C.
  • Walpert, J.N., N.L. Guinasso, Jr., L.L. Lee III, 2002: High Speed Two Way Data Communications Used in the Texas Automated Buoy System.  Proceedings from MTS/IEEE Oceans 2002 Conference, October 29-31, 2002, Biloxi, MS
  • Bender, L.C., J.N. Walpert et al. Current Observations Offshore of Pearl Harbor During the Ehime Maru Recovery Operations. AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, 2002
  • Walpert, J.N., N.L. Guinasso, Jr., L.L. Lee III, L.C. Bender, F.J. Kelly, 2001: The Effects of Marine Fouling on a Single Point Acoustic Doppler Current Sensor Mounted on a TABS II Spar Buoy.  Proceedings from MTS/IEEE Oceans 2001 Conference, November 5-8, 2001, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Walpert, J.N., N.L. Guinasso, Jr., L.L. Lee III, F.J. Kelly, 2000: Inter-comparison and Evaluation of a Single Point Acoustic Doppler Current Sensor Mounted on a TABS II Spar Buoy. Proceedings from MTS/IEEE Oceans 2000 Conference, September 11-14, 2000, Providence, RI.

Additional Information

Professional Organizations/Associations

  • Marine Technology Society
  • American Geophysical Union
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