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David Koweek

RELP Cohort: 2014
Environmental Earth System Science

I grew up in landlocked upstate New York, never imagining that I would develop a career as an oceanographer. Upon graduating from high school, I went to Brown University where I started studying an engineering curriculum. I quickly tired of the engineering course work and found myself more interested in the earth sciences. After taking one especially inspiring oceanography course, I was hooked and became involved in estuarine oceanography in Rhode Islands Narragansett Bay. My time at Brown was also defined by my four years of participation on Browns NCAA Division I Mens Swim Team. After four years at Brown, I graduated with a degree in Geology-Biology in 2009. Upon graduating, I was jobless and, therefore, put on a backpack and headed to South America. This trip, while exciting and adventurous, was short lived and soon I found myself back on the east coast ready to start a job as a research assistant at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. I worked for almost two years studying the biogeochemistry of marine sediment off the coast of Bermuda. This work resulted in several trips to Bermuda and many fun and exciting experiences as I tried my hand in blue-water oceanography.

I returned to graduate school in the fall of 2011. My research with Professor Robert Dunbar began with a trip to Palmyra Atoll within my first week of graduate school. This was a real crash course in coral reefs, especially since I had not seen one before this trip! Over the last several years, my research interests have expanded to include kelp forests and polar oceanography. I have been fortunate to conduct research in American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Ross Sea, and Pacific Grove, CA, in addition to Palmyra Atoll. I enjoy the adventures of fieldwork and the sense of exploration it entails. When not working, you can frequently find me surfing, SCUBA diving, or otherwise exploring the California coast.