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Grad Student Laxague is Making Waves Using Sea-surface Ripples to Detect Oil

(GoMRI News)
Nathan Laxague studies a small-scale subject matter that has potentially large-scale applications. Capillary waves – or ripples – on the ocean surface can indicate the presence of a film or oil slick on the water’s surface, making them “an important link in the chain of oil spill response.”

Nathan is a physics Ph.D. student at the University of Miami and a GoMRI Scholar with CARTHE. He describes how his involvement in collaborative interdisciplinary research has changed his perception of the scientific process and the way it is communicated.

His Path

Nathan has always loved both language and science, and his desire to “combine communication and science in a useful and empowering way” sparked his interest in research and teaching. His parents’ language arts backgrounds introduced him to eloquent communication, while his participation in Audubon camps near his seaside home of Scarborough, Maine, involved him in environmental sciences. When he entered college, Nathan chose a science major, feeling that would give him more professional fulfillment, and pursued language arts as a hobby. He completed a physics degree at the University of Miami and then set out to find his place in the scientific world.

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