Event Details

Sebastian Essink:  “Adrift in Fresh Water of the Bay of Bengal.”

Sebastian is a grad student who is trying to understand how the ocean spreads out materials (e.g. pollutants, freshwater and oil spills) and aggregates others (e.g. plastics and organisms). Besides using floating sensors that collect data while following the ocean currents, he simulates drifting objects and organisms in numerical ocean models. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in geophysics and oceanography at the University of Hamburg, he drifted across the Atlantic to study physical oceanography in the Joint Program at WHOI and MIT.

Dr. Hilary Palevsky:  “Ocean acidification: “The lesser-known twin of climate change.”  

Hillary is an oceanographer studying how the ocean regulates global climate by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the role of phytoplankton in the marine carbon cycle. She completed her PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she spent many weeks at sea in the North Pacific on commercial container ships and research vessels. She is now a postdoctoral scholar at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she uses autonomous sensors and numerical model simulations to study the ocean without getting wet. In addition to research, she is interested in science education, public outreach, and creating a more inclusive scientific community.

Jim Yoder, WHOI’s Dean of Education will introduce the speakers.

The Joint Program between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has been in existence since 1968, linking these two topnotch academic institutions in a co-operative program in graduate studies in oceanography, granting a joint PhD. The students spend part of their time in Cambridge at MIT and part in Woods Hole. Typically, students spend the first two years of the program at MIT—though this depends on the student’s specialty and advisor. Most students spend summer semesters at WHOI. On both campuses, students have the resources of a world-class research institution at their fingertips.