Growing up in Massachusetts, Carin Ashjian became interested
in the ocean during summer vacations spent on Buzzards Bay. She
studied biology at Cornell University and then specialized in
oceanography, receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode
Island. Her interest in polar regions was sparked by two cruises
to the Arctic during postdoctoral positions at Brookhaven National
Laboratory and the University of Miami.
She moved to WHOI in 1995, and has pursued her interest in polar research since then, working first at the SHEBA ice camp in the Beaufort Sea. More recently, she has divided her research time between the Antarctic continental shelf, and the shelf-basin boundary of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the Arctic, studying the ecology of polar zooplankton. On average, she spends three months per year at sea. On those occasions when she gets tired of the ocean, she spends time inland picking apples or making maple syrup. Shortly she will begin a new significant project in the Arctic, to investigate the cascading impacts of climate variability on oceanography, plankton distributions, bowhead whale migrations, and IÑupiat subsistence whaling.