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Grad Student Pearson Resolves Statistical Conflict in Submesoscale Ocean Processes

January 22, 2019

Ocean models that utilize surface drifter data can provide oil spill responders with important information about the floating oil’s direction and speed as it moves along the ocean surface. However, surface drifters, like the floating material they represent, tend to cluster along strong fronts and eddies. This clustering can result in important consequences for surface drifter turbulence and transport data at smaller scales. Jenna Pearson is investigating the extent that material clustering impacts the accuracy of turbulence calculations and searching for potential factors or processes involved.

Jenna is a Ph.D. student with Brown University’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences and a GoMRI Scholar with the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment II (CARTHE II).

Her Path

Jenna developed her scientific interests as an undergraduate student at Northeastern Illinois University. While working as a math tutor, she decided to major in Mathematics after a pre-calculus professor encouraged her to pursue it as a career. She added Earth Science as a second major after serving as an Army National Guard medic in Iraq during her undergraduate studies. “I was only deployed for about a year, but I was a medic for eight years in total,” she said. “I transitioned from being a medic to a math and science major because there were more tools at my disposal to help global populations, rather than just treating a handful of individuals at a time.”

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