Dr. Pullen is an Associate Professor in Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. She holds a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory and is an adjunct research scientist at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Previously, she was the Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Center of Excellence in Maritime Security at Stevens and a former science fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
She studies complex coastal air/sea interactions, those surrounding cities and mountains, utilizing high-resolution (<5 km) coupled ocean/atmosphere/hydrology models and observations from targeted field campaigns around the globe. Dr. Pullen has served on the steering team for field studies in urban air contaminant dispersion (DHS/Defense Threat Reduction Agency NYC Urban Dispersion Program) and tropical meteorology and oceanography (Office of Naval Research, PhilEx and PISTON programs). Dr. Pullen’s research contributes to the understanding and development of resilience and sustainability in coastal environments, and the enhancement of Earth System Models on weather, subseasonal-to-seasonal, and climate timescales. Her work also improves the treatment of air/sea/urban processes within transport and dispersion models for chemical/biological radiological and nuclear (CBRN) applications.
In 2015 Dr. Pullen was elected as the physical oceanography councilor for The Oceanography Society. She was a member of the 2014-2016 National Research Council committee on Earth System Prediction and is on the international GODAE Coastal Ocean and Shelf Seas Task Team. Dr. Pullen is a board member of the Waterfront Alliance, a civic organization representing over 1000 groups with a stake in the NY/NJ waterfront, and is co-chair of the policy committee. She was a chapter co-author of the 2015 New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC2) report. She is currently co-editing an issue of the journal Oceanography focused on ocean warming.
With support from the Carnegie Corporation Professor Pullen has developed Nuclear Issues and Civil Defense initiatives, including a workshop and a graduate course on Nuclear Security and Terrorism. Most recently she is a co-PI on a collaborative project "Reinventing Civil Defense." She is a member of the advisory board of the Federation of American Scientists and was on the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (NY/NJ/CT/PA) Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) Science Plan Committee.
Dr. Pullen has served on program committees of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Coastal Environments (chair), Gordon Research Conference on Coastal Ocean Modeling, International Waterside Security Conference, and co-chaired the Ocean Sciences Meeting (2010) and Maritime Risk Symposium (2015).
Dr. Pullen holds a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from Oregon State University. As an undergraduate at Macalester College she majored in physics and math. She was the first undergraduate intern at the Santa Fe Institute and conducted postdoctoral work at the Naval Research Laboratory pioneering air/sea coupled modeling. Her science roots are in complexity theory.