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Kaylie Cohanim

Department: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Faculty Adviser: Sonya Legg
Year of Study: G2
Undergraduate School: UCLA
Undergraduate Major: Math/AOS

Personal Bio

I'm a PhD student at the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. I completed my bachelor's degree at UCLA, where I did a joint major in mathematics and atmospheric and oceanic sciences. For some, their academic interest is clear, but for many others, like myself, it requires a bit of exploration... In community college I was interested in environmental studies, but as time went on I realized I was more interested in the natural science and mathematical aspect of my studies. After transferring to UCLA, I ventured outwards to space studies and joined a research group where I studied the movement of dust particle on Titan, Saturn's moon. I then happened to stumble upon a physical oceanography class and was instantly mesmerized. I loved seeing how Earth's systems can be explained using elegant math and interpreted via physics and science. I juggled the two research studies for over a year, before deciding to keep things closer to home, and study Earth's oceans. I know research ice-ocean interactions around Antarctica, melt rates and sea-level rise.

Bent spoon is definitely one of Princeton's gems. During my free time, I like cooking for my friends and family, and exploring different cuisines together. I also enjoy hiking, reading and tennis.

Fun Fact

After my military service, I backpacked in South-East Asia for 5 months (Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand). Within my first week, I got stuck on the top of a mountain during a monsoon...

My next goal is to hike the Appalachian trail!

Research Pitch

In a broader sense, physical oceanography is the study of how our oceans transfer heat and momentum across the globe. Flows, waves, eddies... these are examples of processes that develop in the ocean in order to move heat and momentum around.

To study these processes, I use a mix of theoretical approaches alongside complex numerical simulations. This allows me to study the ocean in regions and scales that are hard to observe or gather measurements. A particularly good example of this is around Antarctica, where observations and measurements are difficult to extract, mainly because of all the ice.

My research studies interactions occurring at the ice-ocean interface around Antarctica, and what physical processes (waves, eddies, mixing) govern the melt rate of the Antarctic ice sheet. This research is extremely important for understanding the global impacts of sea-level rise and climate change.

Plans for Summer 2022

Not available to participate in Summer ReMatch+ program.

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