Dr. Okumura's research aims at understanding the dynamical and thermodynamical processes in determining the mean state and variability of the past, present, and future climate. She specializes in large-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions and atmospheric teleconnections, such as those associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation phenomenon. She synthesizes observational data and climate model simulations to understand various climate phenomena. Topics of her research ranges widely from the seasonal cycle of the tropical Atlantic to decadal variability in Antarctic ice core records.

Dr. Okumura joined the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics in 2011 as a Research Associate. She obtained the Ph. D. degree in Meteorology from University of Hawaii in 2005, then worked at both the International Pacific Research Center and National Center for Atmospheric Research as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scientist before coming to the UTIG. She is a recipient of the NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship and has been serving as an American Meteorological Society Committee on Air-Sea Interaction.

Areas of Expertise

Climate dynamics, climate variability and change, large-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric teleconnections, paleoclimate and thermohaline circulation


Research Locations



Journal of Climate Editor's Award - American Meteorological Society (2011)

NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship - UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs (2006 - 2009)

Organizer, 18th Conference on Air-Sea Interaction (Boston, Massachusetts), American Meteorological Society (2012)

Co-Chair, 17th Conference on Air-Sea Interaction (Annapolis, Maryland), American Meteorological Society (2010)

Member, Committee on Air-Sea Interaction, American Meteorological Society (2008 - 2012)

Shutdown of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation and its impact on North Pacific climate, 12th Annual CCSM Workshop, Breckenridge, Colorado (2007)

Atlantic Nino II: Phenomena and Implications for Climate Predictability, AMMA-Ocean/TACE/PIRATA Meeting, Karlsruhe, Germany (2007)

PhD Student Opportunity in Climate Research (Graduate)
A PhD student is recruited to conduct modeling and observational study of Pacific decadal variability and its relation to decadal modulations of El Nino-Southern Oscillation at the University of Texas at Austin. Background in oceanic and atmospheric sciences is preferred but not required. General information on the graduate program at the UT's Jackson School of Geosciences can be found at http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/. The deadline for Fall 2014 application is January 1st, 2014. Interested candidate should contact Yuko M. Okumura (yukoo@ig.utexas.edu) for more information.