melissa omand

Marine snow catcher being deployed. Photo by Heather McNair.

submesoscale processes — could complement the science campaign. Omand joined the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) faculty in 2015 and continues to teach and conduct research. She says the collaboration between disciplines makes GSO special as do the opportunities of having a research vessel housed at the Bay Campus. The existing R/V The Endeavor will be replaced in 2021 by a $125 million regional class research vessel. The prominence of female scientists also played a key factor in her decision, Omand adds: “Susanne [Menden- Deuer] (article page 14) and Tatiana [Rynearson] (article page 10) were the only two faculty I knew at GSO before I came here. That they were here, the quality of their science, and the stage they were at — I knew this was where I wanted to be. I knew this was a place where I could be successful.”

Preparing equipment for a month at sea, Melissa Omand sits back and grins as she recalls the moment she first thought about joining the University of Rhode Island (URI) faculty. Omand, then just starting her postdoctoral position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts, was invited in fall 2011 to give a talk at the Narragansett Bay Campus about her Ph.D. work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California. She studied coastal phytoplankton blooms, looking specifically at the nutrient supply for red tide events. When Omand returned a few years later to give a talk on her postdoctoral research, she knew that if a job opening arose she would apply. In the meantime, with NASA’s EXPORTS on the horizon, she shaped her work in anticipation of how her expertise — observational oceanography, physical-biological interactions, and

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