Jason C. Goodman

Associate Professor of Physics


Science Center 1332



Main Interests

Most of my graduate training has been in geophysical fluid mechanics: the study of the motion of atmospheres and oceans. I approach these problems using a combination of laboratory experiments, “chalkboard” models, and large-scale computer simulations.


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A., Carleton College

Research Interests

My research topics broadly consider the fluid mechanics of atmospheres, oceans, and ice. I’m interested in flows of mass and heat in ice-covered oceans in a variety of contexts.  One example is the Earth, which experienced periods of massive glaciation about 600 million years ago (the “Snowball Earth” episodes).  The cause of these extreme glaciations, during which the oceans may have frozen from pole to equator, remains unexplained.  I am also interested in ice-covered oceans among the outer moons of the solar system (Europa, Enceladus, and others). This latter work, collaborating with Geoff Collins and others, has been dubbed “planetary oceanography”. I’m also interested in the year-to-year variability of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean in modern climates.

Teaching Interests

I’m an earth scientist, but I’ve always considered myself first and foremost a physicist. As such, I teach a mixture of environmental science classes and traditional physics. In environmental science, I teach general courses on climate change, meteorology and oceanography, and fluid mechanics. I also teach general physics courses including electricity and magnetism, electronics, optics, and computational methods for solving physics problems.


Boldface names are current or former Wheaton students.

Goodman, J. C. and D. S. Strom, 2013.  Feedbacks in a Coupled Ice-Atmosphere-Dust Model of the glacial Neoproterozoic “Mudball Earth”.  Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres.

Goodman, J. C. and E. Lenferink, 2012.  Numerical simulations of marine hydrothermal plumes for Europa and other icy worlds.  Icarus.

Vance, S. and J. C. Goodman, 2008. Physical Oceanography of an Ice-Covered Moon. Book chapter, in Europa, (R. Pappalardo, W. McKinnon, K. Khurana, eds.)

Goodman, J. C. and G. C. Collins, 2006. Enceladus’s South Polar Sea. Icarus.

Goodman, J. C., 2006. Through Thick and Thin: Marine and Meteoric Ice in a Snowball Earth‚ Climate. Geophysical Research Letters 33, L16701, doi: 10.1029/2006GL026840.

Goodman, J. C., G. C. Collins, J. Marshall, and R. T. Pierrehumbert, 2004. Hydrothermal plume dynamics on Europa: Implications for Chaos Formation. Journal of Geophysical Research ˜ Planets 109:E03008, doi: 10.1029/2003JE002073.

Goodman, J. C. and R. T. Pierrehumbert, 2003. Glacial flow of Floating Marine Ice in Snowball Earth‚. Journal of Geophysical Research 108:C10, 3308, doi: 10.1029/2002JC001471.

Goodman, J. C. and J. Marshall, 2003. The role of neutral singular vectors in middle-latitude air−sea coupling. Journal of Climate, 16, 88−102.

Goodman, J. C. and J. Marshall, 2002. Using neutral singular vectors to study low-frequency atmospheric variability. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 59(22), 3206−3222.