Nick Woods grew up in Chapel Hill, N.C., and spent a great deal of time in, on, or around the ocean. In his senior year at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, he was exposed to physical oceanography, which blended his passion for the ocean with his interest in physics. In 2007, he started in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program and works with his Ph.D. advisor David Fratantoni in the Autonomous Systems Laboratory. When not at his computer or tinkering in the lab, he enjoys playing a plethora of sports and spending time with his girlfriend and two cats. His mentor for this article was Peter Spotts, science correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.