skip to main content


Title: How Did I Get From There to Here?
Abstract

In this memoir I trace the trajectory from childhood to a career in physical oceanography. The trajectory was not based on a well thought out plan, but I had a sense of my interest in the ocean and atmosphere. One is faced with many career opportunities in life, choosing the best for you depends on your interest and talents. The better you understand them, the better you recognize “opportunity,” but be flexible, opportunity is never likely to be a perfect fit (it might actually be better fit to your “passion”). My research quest, as an observationalist, is to develop a clearer, conceptual, picture of ocean, how it “works,” with a tilt toward its role in the climate system. I have worked in the cold southern polar regions to the hot tropics, and in‐between; from the top to the bottom of the water column. Here I discuss a few discoveries that led to new insight into interocean exchange and deep ocean ventilation, which are now widely explored: Southern ocean: two modes of convection, along the margins of Antarctica and in the open ocean of the Weddell Sea; Agulhas Leakage: Indian Ocean invades the Atlantic, essential to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; The Indonesian Throughflow: tropical Pacific water spreads into Indian Ocean, part of the global interocean thermocline exchange.

 
more » « less
NSF-PAR ID:
10382757
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Perspectives of Earth and Space Scientists
Volume:
3
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2637-6989
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    This report briefly summarizes the key mentors in my scientific career and some lessons learned from those influential people. My primary advice to others: it is okay to do something wrong. By doing science we are doing something hard that, by definition, has not been done before. I believe that impostor syndrome is a real threat to researcher wellbeing and we should acknowledge its presence and support each other to get through it. Regarding an approach to science, I encourage you to get started and make something bad. Also, take time for yourself, it really does help your productivity. To lead others, I recommend to be enthusiastic, actively listen, and make connections across disciplines. I think it is important to foster creativity in those around you. I advocate that you actively make the future that you want to have.

     
    more » « less
  2. Browman, Howard (Ed.)
    Abstract I describe my path through a series of opportunities that provided stepping stones from childhood years in the landlocked US Midwest to a 45-year-long career focused on cetacean behaviour and ecology. My early interest in the ocean and dolphins led me to switch from majoring in journalism to biology during my undergraduate years. While pursuing a master’s degree focused on bioacoustics, I was employed as a contract scientist with the US Navy’s marine mammal laboratory. During 20 years there, my work ranged from dolphin calling behaviour to marine mammal distribution in Alaskan waters, culminating in a Ph.D. dissertation on cetacean habitats in the Alaskan Arctic. Subsequently, I enjoyed a 20-year career with the US NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. There, I developed and advanced the idea that marine mammals can act as sentinels of ocean variability. To interpret the messages that marine mammals convey about the ocean, we must broaden science discourse to include Indigenous Knowledge and lessons from the experiences of people whose livelihoods depend on the sea. My advice to students and young professionals is to follow your passion while seeking the perspectives of colleagues from a variety of disciplines and people from all cultures and backgrounds. Coupled with a healthy dose of luck, this approach worked for me. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    In this manuscript, I provide ideas that may help early‐career colleagues on their paths in science, especially in research and academia. I discuss the inevitability of failure at times, the importance of finding great collaborators and mentors and making time for the things that bring you joy in your life, and suggest a few practices that I hope make us more pleasant human beings. I share a few difficulties I've navigated and advice I've shared with my students, postdocs, and early‐career colleagues through the years. I hope such thoughts are useful, and help others find the joy in being a scientist.

     
    more » « less
  4. International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 361 drilled six sites on the southeast African margin (southwest Indian Ocean) and in the Indian-Atlantic Ocean gateway, from 30 January to 31 March 2016. In total, 5175 m of core was recovered, with an average recovery of 102%, during 29.7 days of on-site operations. The sites, situated in the Mozambique Channel at locations directly influenced by discharge from the Zambezi and Limpopo River catchments, the Natal Valley, the Agulhas Plateau, and Cape Basin, were targeted to reconstruct the history of the greater Agulhas Current system over the past ~5 My. The Agulhas Current is the strongest western boundary current in the Southern Hemisphere, transporting some 70 Sv of warm, saline surface water from the tropical Indian Ocean along the East African margin to the tip of Africa. Exchanges of heat and moisture with the atmosphere influence southern African climates, including individual weather systems such as extratropical cyclone formation in the region and rainfall patterns. Recent ocean model and paleoceanographic data further point at a potential role of the Agulhas Current in controlling the strength and mode of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) during the Late Pleistocene. Spillage of saline Agulhas water into the South Atlantic stimulates buoyancy anomalies that may influence basin-wide AMOC, with implications for convective activity in the North Atlantic and global climate change. The main objectives of the expedition were to establish the role of the Agulhas Current in climatic changes during the Pliocene–Pleistocene, specifically to document the dynamics of the Indian-Atlantic Ocean gateway circulation during this time, to examine the connection of the Agulhas leakage and AMOC, and to address the influence of the Agulhas Current on African terrestrial climates and coincidences with human evolution. Additionally, the expedition set out to fulfill the needs of Ancillary Project Letter number 845, consisting of high-resolution interstitial water sampling to help constrain the temperature and salinity profiles of the ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum. The expedition made major strides toward fulfilling each of these objectives. The recovered sequences allowed generation of complete spliced stratigraphic sections that range from 0 to between ~0.13 and 7 Ma. This sediment will provide decadal- to millennial-scale climatic records that will allow answering the paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic questions set out in the drilling proposal. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 361 drilled six sites on the southeast African margin and in the Indian-Atlantic ocean gateway, southwest Indian Ocean, from 30 January to 31 March 2016. In total, 5175 m of core was recovered, with an average recovery of 102%, during 29.7 days of on-site operations. The sites, situated in the Mozambique Channel at locations directly influenced by discharge from the Zambezi and Limpopo River catchments, the Natal Valley, the Agulhas Plateau, and Cape Basin, were targeted to reconstruct the history of the greater Agulhas Current system over the past ~5 my. The Agulhas Current is the strongest western boundary current in the Southern Hemisphere, transporting some 70 Sv of warm, saline surface water from the tropical Indian Ocean along the East African margin to the tip of Africa. Exchanges of heat and moisture with the atmosphere influence southern African climates, including individual weather systems such as extratropical cyclone formation in the region and rainfall patterns. Recent ocean model and paleoceanographic data further point at a potential role of the Agulhas Current in controlling the strength and mode of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) during the Late Pleistocene. Spillage of saline Agulhas water into the South Atlantic stimulates buoyancy anomalies that act as control mechanisms on the basin-wide AMOC, with implications for convective activity in the North Atlantic and global climate change. The main objectives of the expedition were to establish the sensitivity of the Agulhas Current to climatic changes during the Pliocene–Pleistocene, to determine the dynamics of the Indian-Atlantic gateway circulation during this time, to examine the connection of the Agulhas leakage and AMOC, and to address the influence of the Agulhas Current on African terrestrial climates and coincidences with human evolution. Additionally, the expedition set out to fulfill the needs of the Ancillary Project Letter, consisting of high-resolution interstitial water samples that will constrain the temperature and salinity profiles of the ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum. The expedition made major strides toward fulfilling each of these objectives. The recovered sequences allowed generation of complete spliced stratigraphic sections that span from 0 to between ~0.13 and 7 Ma. This sediment will provide decadal- to millennial-scale climatic records that will allow answering the paleoceanographic and paleoclimatic questions set out in the drilling proposal. 
    more » « less