The new wave of oceanographers: Michaela Edwinson

Master’s student studying atmospheric and oceanic coupling processes in the Cape Basin.

Michaela Edwinson is a Master’s student at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where she is part of Sebastiaan Swart’s research team and focuses on air sea fluxes.

SWOT-AdAC: What is your field of research and how did you choose it?

Michaela Edwinson: Atmospheric and oceanic coupling processes has always fascinated me, that’s when I decided I wanted to learn more. This got me into a project of air-sea fluxes in the Cape Basin together with the Polar Gliders group led by Sebastiaan Swart on the University of Gothenburg and QUICCHE campaign. As I’m just entering the field related to my current master thesis, I’m excited to learn more and find relations between heat flux, high energy eddies, storms and to have a look at how accurate reanalysis models, such as the ERA5, are together with this in-situ data.

SWOT-AdAC: How is your field of research related to SWOT?

ME: Quantifying Interocean fluxes in the Cape Cauldron Hotspot of Eddy kinetic energy, the QUICCHE campaign will collect new observations in the Cape Basin, a global hotspot for eddy kinetic energy due to Aghulas leakage, during March 2023. Investigated regimes will be used to quantify heat fluxes among other things, and the QUICCHE operations will be in one of the SWOT daily crossovers. The collaboration will go two ways where QUICCHE observations will be used to evaluate SWOT by providing in-situ measurements of sea surface height and stratification and SWOT will provide information about surface dynamics at time- and spacescales not seen before.

SWOT-AdAC: What do you find exciting about SWOT and the QUICCHE campaign? How will you contribute to it?

ME: SWOT-AdAC campaigns are a very exciting, new contribution in giving a new tool for scientists all over the world to understand the oceans dynamics better. I will contribute by joining in field of the QUICCHE campaign, departing from Cape Town 5th of March 2023 and help with operations on board, such as with gliders, sailbuoys, moorings, CTDs and more. I will also take care of daily quality control of meteorological, temperature and salinity data as well as computing heat flux with this data on board.

SWOT-AdAC: What are your plans after the SWOT-AdAC campaign

ME: After the campaign I will keep on working on my master’s thesis for about a year to get a master’s degree in physical oceanography in June 2024.