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Britt Raubenheimer


Britt Raubenheimer is an Associate Scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She decided to study physics during the ninth grade, when she had a choice between taking either physics or biology (which included cutting up cute little frogs). She fell in love with research while attending Middlebury College, as she worked with astronomers at an observatory in the Canary Islands to collect observations of a supernova remnant. Raubenheimer spent the vacations of her youth backpacking, handgliding, rock climbing, canoe camping, and backcountry skiing, so she knew she wanted to take her physics skills outdoors. She became interested in nearshore oceanography while studying coastal overwash during her first job, at the U.S. Geological Survey’s office in Saint Petersburg, Florida. She completed her training with a doctorate in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Now her job requires her to go to the beach and to scuba dive to deploy instruments. Raubenheimer recently received a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research and a Career Award from the National Science Foundation. As part of the latter award, she developed a program offering six-month undergraduate fellowships to expose students to scientific research

Britt Raubenheime

Shaping the Beach, One Wave at a Time

Shaping the Beach, One Wave at a Time

For years, scientists who study the shoreline have wondered at the apparent fickleness of storms, which can devastate one part of a coastline, yet leave an adjacent part untouched. How can this be? The answer lies in the physics of the nearshore region?the stretch of sand, rock, and water between the dry land behind the beach and the beginning of deep water far from shore.

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Where the Surf Meets the Turf

Where the Surf Meets the Turf

The gentle lapping of waves on the beach is a metaphor for enduring tranquility. However, the thin zone where the surf meets the turf is one of the most turbulent, complex, fast-moving, constantly changing places on Earth.

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