My goal is to understand waves and currents well enough that they can be predicted

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What do you do? I am an oceanographer, and I study waves and currents using field measurements. My goal is to understand waves and currents well enough that they can be predicted for naval operations, renewable energy and other applications.

How does someone get a job like yours? I went to grad school and trained at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. That was the formal start, but I grew up on boats and always worked on the water.

Best part of the job? Time on the water, certainly, but also the puzzle of working with field data. The story of data is always incomplete, and a big part of my job is to piece the story together.

What would surprise people about your job? I study the physical aspects of the ocean … as opposed to dolphins and whales. People often think I’m a marine biologist; that’s a separate but related discipline. So the surprising thing is how much math is involved in my job.