William H. Quinn earned his Ph.D. in physical oceanography at Oregon State University (OSU) in 1968 and was a research faculty member at OSU from 1967 until his retirement in 1981. As an Oregon State faculty member, Quinn conducted pioneering research on the El Niño phenomenon; led the field in relating the El Niño events to the Southern Oscillation, a large-scale atmospheric process; and used the historical record to infer the occurrence of past El Niño-Southern Oscillation events. Much of this work was done after his official retirement in 1981. In 1972-1973, Quinn served as Assistant Director for Oceanography of the National Weather Service while on a leave of absence from Oregon State University.
William Hewes Quinn was born in Syracuse, New York, on September 28, 1918. He earned an AB degree from Colgate University in 1940; an A.M. in Geology from the University of Missouri in 1942; a Certificate in Meteorology from New York University in 1943; and an M.S. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in 1950. Quinn was a meteorologist and weather forecaster with the U.S. Air Force before enrolling as a graduate student at Oregon State in the mid-1960s. Quinn died in Corvallis on January 12, 1994.
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