Kenneth J Voss


(305) 284-4036
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My research involves experimental ocean and atmospheric optics. This involves building novel instrumentation to measure the light field in the ocean and atmosphere. We then use this instrumentation on ships, during oceanographic cruises and at different locations in Miami, Bermuda and throughout the world. The applications of this research extend from understanding imaging and light transmission processes in the ocean to understanding the optical affects of aerosols (small particles) in the atmosphere, and their impact on energy transmission in the atmosphere.



1984Ph.D. Physics Texas A&M University
1979B.S. Physics Washington State University

Professional Experience

2019 - Sr. Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
2007 - 2013Chairman, Physics Department, University of Miami
1999 - cur.Professor, University of Miami
1993 - 1999Associate Professor, University of Miami
1989 - 1993Assistant Professor, University of Miami
1987 - 1989Assistant Research Optical Oceanographer, Institute of Marine Resources, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. of Cal. San Diego
1986 - 1987Visiting Assistant Research Physicist, Visibility Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. of Cal. San Diego
1984 - 1986Visibility Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. of Cal. San Diego, Postgraduate Research Physicist
1984 - 1984Graduate Research Associate, Texas A&M University
1979 - 1979Criticality Safety Engineer, Rockwell International, Richland, WA

Honors & Acknowledgements

Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity, Spring 2015
Fellow of the Optical Society of America, October 2003
Elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America, October 2003, “For
significant contributions to oceanic and atmospheric optics, particularly in
the development of novel experiments and instrumentation”.
Washington State University B. S. Cum Laud, Honors program graduate - 1979
Knight Junior Fellowship, University of Miami - 1989
Polly Cooper Outstanding Advisor of the Year, April 2008, for UM Sailing Club.
  • Invited to present a poster, and attend the ONR 50th anniversary ceremony (as one of approximately 10 young investigators selected nationally) (1996).
  • Student (Dr. Hu) won the outstanding student paper award at Ocean Optics XIII (1996), an international meeting held every other year.
  • Student (Dr. Welton) won an outstanding student paper award, in Atmospheric Sciences, at Fall American Geophysical Union Meeting (1997).
  • Student (Dr. Zhang) was an honorable mention for outstanding student paper award at Ocean Optics XVII (2004), an international meeting held every other year.
  • Student (Puru Bhandari) won the outstanding student paper award at Ocean Optics XX (2010), an international meeting held every other year

Conferences & Events

Progress on the new primary ocean color vicarious calibration instrument | Snowbird, UT
Progress on MOBY-Net | Silver Springs, Maryland
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Editorial responsibilities
  • Topical Editor for Applied Optics, Sept. 1994 – Dec. 2000
  • Review articles for Applied Optics, Journal of Geophysical Research,
  • Limnology and Oceanography, Optics Express, GRL, and other journals.
Professional and Honorary Organizations (member; officer; date)
  • Optical Society of America
    • (Chairman, Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics Technical Group, 1994-1995)
    • (Vice Chairman, Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics Technical Group, 1993)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Optical Society of San Diego (Director 1986-1988, Treasurer 1988-1989)
  • The Oceanography Society
Other Professional Activities
  • External reviewer, University of Maryland Baltimore County Physics Department, Spring 2016.
  • Team member, NOAA VIIRS Calibration/Validation Team.
  • Associate Team Member Sentinel 3 Validation Team (ESA/EUMETSAT)
  • Invited participant, Lidar Observations of Optical and Physical Properties, NURC, La Spezia, Italy, Nov, 2011.
  • Participated in Remote Sensing Theory Proposal Review Panel, NASA, Univ. of Maryland, 2/2011
  • Team member, NASA GLORY Science Team,.
  • Participated in National Oceanographic Partnership Program Panel review, June 16-17, Washington D.C.
  • External Review Panel for NRL Research Option, December 2, 2009, Washington, D.C.
  • Planning Committee, Ocean Optics XX, October 2010, Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Chairman, Ocean Optics XVIV, October 2008, Luca, Italy.
  • Planning committee, Ocean Optics XVIII, October, 2006, Montreal, Canada.
  • Team Member, NASA MODIS Algorithm Validation Team
  • Team Member, NOAA Coastal Applications and Science Team
  • Team Member, NASA MODIS Science Team
  • Team Member, NOAA, GOES-R Algorithm Working group team
  • member.
  • Session Co-convener, Recent advances in Understanding of Optical Scattering in the Ocean, 2006 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Feb, 2006, Hawaii.
  • Steering committee member, NASA Ocean Color Radiometric Cal/Val Working Group. 2004 – present.
  • Presider, “Optical displays from the Laboratory”, Light and Color in the Open Air, Technical meeting, OSA, Sante Fe, N.M., February, 1997.
  • Presider, “Optical Properties” at Ocean Optics XIII, Halifax, N. S., October 1996.
  • Allen Prize Committee, Optical Society of America, chairman, 1997.
  • Technical council representative to organization committee, Optical Society of America, Topical Group Meeting “Light and Color in the Open Air”, 1997.
  • Participated in ONR Ocean Sciences Program Review (Chicago, Ill.), 1996.
  • Attended ONR workshop on Coastal Benthic Optical Properties, Washington D.C., Jan. 1996.
  • Participated in NSF Funding Review Panel, Washington D.C., Feb. 1996.
  • Chairman, Allen Prize committee, Optical Society of America, 1996
  • Presider, Symposium on Scattering and Absorption: 3, OSA Annual Meeting, September 11-15, 1995, Portland, Or.
  • Presider, Symposium on Light scattering and beam propagation: 1 and 2, OSA Annual Meeting, October 3-8, 1993, Toronto, Canada.
  • Presider, Symposium on Closure Measurements in Ocean Optics:1 and 2, OSA Annual Meeting, October 3-8, 1993, Toronto, Canada.
  • Co-Chairman, Ocean Optics XI, July, 1992, San Diego, Ca.
  • Presider, Symposium on Underwater Optics: 3, OSA Annual Meeting, November 3-8, 1991 San Jose, Ca.
  • Invited participant Joint National Academy of Science- Academy of Science USSR Workshop on Remote Sensing, Held in Moscow, USSR, June 10-22, 1991
  • Co-Chairman, Ocean Optics X, April 16-18, 1990 Orlando, Fl..

LIST OF SPECIALTIES: experimental ocean and atmospheric optics

Research Projects

Funded Research Performed (all grants active in the last five years)
  • PI, Polarization of water leaving radiance as relevant to the GLORY-APS data, NASA, 1/1/11-12/31/14, $56,893.
  • PI, Developing a low-cost, in-water stereo-video camera for use in fishery independent surveys, NMFS, 7/1/13-9/30/14, $43,173.
  • PI, Developing a MOBY-NET instrument, suitable for a federation network for Vicarious Calibration of Ocean Color Satellites, NASA, 9/15/14-9/14/18, $2,790,796.
  • PI, Marine Optical Buoy (MOBY) Operations and Technology Refresh, NOAA, 2/1/16 – 9/30/20, $13,293,951.


K. J. Voss and L. Belmar Da Costa "Polarization properties of FEL lamps as applied to radiometric calibration" Applied Optics (2016).

M.Wang, W. Shi, L. Jiang, and K. Voss "The NIR- and SWIR-based on-orbit vicarious calibrations for satellite ocean color sensors" Optics Express (2016).

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