Bridget Zakrzewski ’17


Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Vertical Structure of Ocean Mesoscale Eddies in the Southern Ocean

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Though the ocean as a whole is mysterious, the most perplexing region is perhaps the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica and is particularly difficult to study due to freezing temperatures, sea ice, and seasonal darkness. The goal of my project was to study whirlpool-like currents in the Southern Ocean called “eddies” in order to gain a better understanding of the current systems and mixing properties in this region. To study eddies, I modeled previously gathered oceanographic data from Argo floats and AVISO satellites using MATLAB. Once data was collected and modeled, I researched various properties of eddies by reading scientific articles and other academic resources. From my summer experience, I learned more about ocean dynamics and its importance to the sustainability of the global climate. I was also fortunate enough to attend many seminars about current climate, oceanographic, and meteorological research. Because of the positive experience I had during my PEI internship, I have shifted my future study focus from chemical engineering to environmental engineering.

Internship Year


Project Category



Sarmiento Group, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ


Jorge Sarmiento, Professor, Geosciences; Ivy Frenger, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences