Thomas Haine PhD Oceanography, 1993
Professor of Physical Oceanography, John Hopkins University, USA
I arrived in Southampton in 1989, to the old Department of Oceanography. It was clear, even back then, that the Department was going places. Its current location at the National Oceanography Centre shows that Southampton is the best place to study Oceanography in the UK.
I decided upon Oceanography after studying my undergraduate degree in physics. I did not want to study the physics of the very small or very large as a postgraduate, and wanted to do something more applied and tangible.
During the gap year after my undergraduate degree, I went scuba diving in Australia and the Caribbean, and learnt from colleagues about Physical Oceanography- which seemed to be what I was looking for! Whilst at University, I followed my interest in diving and became an active member of SUSAC (the diving club) as a senior diver and diving instructor.
The advantages of studying at Southampton include it being the centre of the UK Oceanography scene, and being renowned internationally. I felt that the academic quality of the staff was very high, and the opportunity for field work was excellent. During my time at Southampton I went to sea on 4 separate occasions, and visited laboratories in Plymouth, Cambridge, The University of Washington and Bermuda.
I am currently a Professor of Physical Oceanography at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University in the USA. My role includes both research and teaching, which is great because I love the intellectual freedom that comes with teaching smart young people.
Advice I have for current students looking at Ocean and Earth Science at Southampton is to immerse yourself in your classes and research. You will then begin to see the links between things! Regarding employment afterwards, you have many opportunities to be successful and happy (more than you think). There are always multiple paths to success!