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William J. Behrens

Applications Architect

Bill develops and maintains information systems that collect, process and store physical measurements collected from atmospheric, terrestrial and marine ecosystems. He provides the interface between instruments collecting environmental data in the field and data products available to research collaborators. This includes the computer infrastructure to communicate with instruments and collect, transmit and store data. He has made chemical, physical, and biological measurements from ships; deployed oceanographic and atmospheric instruments from buoys and moorings at sea; measured atmospheric constituents in terrestrial ecosystems; been responsible for system administration and data base management.

How did he get to be an Applications Architect from an initial education in marine ecology? Once at BNL, Bill started doing sea water chemistry and hydrography at sea and processed cruise data reports which evolved into data base management. At the same time digital instrumentation and data logging became the standard for hydrographic measurements and required mobile computer and network systems that Bill provided in addition to computer resources at BNL. As system administrator, Bill provides support for all department computer resources with knowledge of both the science and the tools necessary to perform environmental research.


  • Briarcliffe College, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer
  • Stony Brook University, M.S., Marine Sciences
  • Binghamton University, B.A., Biology

Areas of Interest

  • Acquisition, telemetry, analysis and distribution of environmental data
  • Computer system administration, networking and communications
  • Environmental data management
  • Hydrography


  • System administrator for FAst-physics System TEstbed and Research (FASTER) project, ARM External Data Center, and Cloud Properties group
  • Provide network and data acquisition systems for the ARM Mobile Aerosol Observatory Systems
  • Computer security representative for the Environmental & Climate Sciences Department
  • Develop satellite communications interface for remote ARM sites
  • Provide remote access, data acquisition, and data management software for Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) sites
  • Network distribution of real-time radio telemetered data from weather stations and buoys
  • Buoy instrumentation for Navy air-sea interaction study
  • Process satellite images and design data processing and graphics systems for oceanographic projects
  • Database manager for Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences Division and author of 28 oceanographic data reports
  • Participated in 46 oceanographic research cruises measuring chemical, physical and biological parameters in the North Atlantic, Bering Sea, Greenland Sea, and Caribbean Sea
  • Research ecologist investigating sulfur dynamics in a salt marsh ecosystem at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
  • Instructor of Physical Oceanography, Southampton College, NY
  • Investigated the behavior of trace metals in a Long Island fishery using atomic absorption spectroscopy.
  • Visiting student at the University of Manchester, England and Marine Biological Station, Roscoff, France

Publications (since 1981)

Reynolds, R. M., and Behrens, W. J. An Inmarsat-C, GOES and EIA485 hybrid communications system for global experiment control. Oceans95. Proceedings of the Marine Technological Society, Washington, DC. October, 1995.

Ashjian, C. J., Smith, S. L., Flagg, C. N., Mariano, A. J., Behrens, W. J., and Lane, P. The influence of a Gulf Stream meander on the distribution of zooplankton biomass in the slope water, the Gulf Stream, and the Sargasso Sea, described using a shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler. Deep-Sea Res. 41(1):23-50 (1994).

Behrens, W. J. and I. W. Duedall. Temporal variations of heavy metals in Mercenaria mercenaria. J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer 39(3):219-22 (1981).

Behrens, W. J. and I. W. Duedall. The behavior of heavy metals in transplanted hard clams, Mercenaria mercenaria. J. Cons. Int. Explor. Mer 39(3):223-30 (1981).