Jennifer Johnson '20

Changing Physical Oceanography in the Bering Sea

Jennifer Johnson graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor of science in biology before enrolling in the oceanography master’s program in the fall of 2018. The Hampton Roads, Virginia native aims to work in the science field with a government or non-profit agency. Her research focus is in applied fisheries acoustics, with an interest in the changing physical oceanography and zooplankton communities in the subarctic eastern Bering Sea. Johnson spent time in the Bering Sea as part of her research in September of 2019.

Why did you choose the specific program? 

The School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SMSOE) at UNH fit my research interests and offered a program that is interdisciplinary, such as courses in ocean engineering and earth sciences.

Why did you choose UNH for your graduate program?

Prior to UNH, as a technician at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Woods Hole, I participated in collaborative projects with researchers from UNH. From these collaborations, I was able to interact with scientists here and learn more about the program. This sparked my interest in the Center for Coastal Ocean Mapping (CCOM) and their innovative programs in marine science and technology.

What have you found most unique, enjoyable or beneficial part of being in the UNH community?
I mostly enjoy working alongside students with very diverse backgrounds. Students in my graduate program are different in their previous education, experiences, and research interests. Getting to meet unique individuals, especially the international students, has contributed to my development as a student and a deeper understanding of the field.

How do you feel this program will help prepare you for your career or further education?

This program will help prepare me for a career in the sciences from exposure and training with the tools and techniques that are most relevant today. Specifically, the higher analysis skills that are compatible with the field and technology experiences that I currently harbor.

What is your advice to someone considering a graduate program at UNH?

My advice to someone looking at a graduate program at UNH would be to consider every option and to strive for the program that fits their interests primarily. Thoroughly understand the expertise and capabilities of the laboratories they would potentially join, if doing research, and communicate openly with the researchers that they may be working with about expectations and long-term goals for self-development.