Victoria Boatwright receives Fulbright grant to conduct research in Germany
Victoria Boatwright (C`22) has received a Fulbright award to study the impact of offshore wind farms on physical and biogeochemical cycling in the North Sea. A biological physics major, a STIA minor, a student leader on sustainability issues, and a member of the varsity sailing team, Victoria is interested in combining her interests to study phenomena that involve coupling between oceanic physics and marine biology, with an eye on implications for climate change.
With support from the Fulbright grant, Victoria will spend 10 months in Germany, working with researchers Jeff Carpenter and Jens Floeter at the University of Hamburg and Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon in Geesthacht. Their prior modeling and observational studies have shown that the surface mixed layer of the North Sea is deepened by the offshore wind farms, which means there is more mixing and potentially more nutrient cycling as well as less stratification. This combination of circumstances can have positive or negative effects on phytoplankton and lower trophic marine species, which are primarily responsible for carbon sequestration in the ocean.
“My work will focus on identifying the spatial pattern of this impact and identifying potential mechanisms or quantitative assessments of abundance change from theoretical models and new observational measurements like infrared imaging and high-resolution remote sensing,” Victoria explains. “I’m really excited about this opportunity!”
After her Fulbright ends, Victoria intends to pursue graduate studies in Physical Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD.
The Fulbright student program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Established in 1946 following the end of WWII, the program aims to foster mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.