OCN Graduate Application Mentorship Program

Mission Statement:

Our goal is to provide free support to prospective graduate students interested in applying to UH Mānoa’s Oceanography graduate program in order to demystify the graduate application process. This is a voluntary service offered by current graduate students for prospective graduate students, completely independent of the admissions committee.

Our mentors can provide helpful advice on topics such as how to navigate the overall graduate application process, how to contact a faculty member, how to prepare application materials (personal statements, letters of recommendation, etc.), and more.

Anyone thinking of applying to the Department of Oceanography graduate program can apply for a mentor by clicking the SIGN UP button below. We encourage everyone interested in applying to the program to apply for a mentor! Please be aware that mentors are assigned on a first come first served basis, thus we encourage students to apply for a mentor well in advance of application deadlines. The Fall application submission deadline to the OCN graduate program is December 15th and the Spring application submission deadline is September 1st. If you’re looking for more general information about the graduate application process or how to apply to UHM’s OCN graduate program, we encourage you to view the recordings from previous workshops we have hosted and check out our FAQ page!

meet our mentors!

Amanda is a 1st year graduate student working with marine viruses and mixotrophic phytoplankton. Before coming to UH, she worked as a research technician in vaccine research (virology) in Pittsburgh, PA. Outside of school she enjoys rock climbing, free diving, baking, and going to the movies.

 Alexus is a 4th year PhD Candidate studying the ecology of zooplankton, particularly within a region at risk of deep-sea mining. Before graduate school, she double majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. When she’s not doing research, she enjoys reading, going on hikes, surfing, traveling, acro,and playing tennis.

Blake is a 3rd year PhD student studying the Island Mass Effect and trophic connections between nearshore coral reefs and offshore pelagic habitats in the Hawaiian Islands. Before starting graduate school, he double majored in Molecular Environmental Biology and Marine Science at the University of California, Berkeley. In his free time, Blake enjoys hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and reading.

Carla is a 2nd year Master’s student en route to her PhD. She is interested in sea-level rise and its impacts on coastal communities. She studied Natural Sciences at the University College London and traveled around Europe for 6 months prior to starting graduate school. In her free time, she loves to hike, go to the beach, and hang out with friends.

Charles is a 2nd year PhD student in Marine Geology and Geochemistry. He studies ocean carbon and oxygen air-sea flux variability in space and time using Argo floats and shipboard observations. Before coming to UHM, Charles was in China where he earned his MSc in Marine Chemistry and in Nigeria where he got his B.Tech in Marine Science and Tech. He enjoys swimming, cooking and playing soccer.

Jacob is a 4th year graduate student studying sea surface temperature variability and how it will change under greenhouse warming. He got his BS in Physics with a minor in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, and worked for two years as a researcher studying the atmospheric dynamics of gas giant planets at Hampton University. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, swimming, playing the saxophone, and writing naval history.

Kate is a 3rd year PhD student in Physical Oceanography. Her research aims to better understand the impacts of climate change on and the physical mechanisms controlling ocean temperature and nutrients around Hawaiʻi. She spent a few years traveling, working, and adventuring before coming to graduate school. She loves living in Hawaiʻi and she loves to surf, freedive, hike and make pottery in her free time.

Kyle is a 2nd year PhD student interested in paleoenvironmental proxies and environmental effects of climate change on calcifying organisms like corals and shellfish. He got his B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego and his M.S. in Chemical Oceanography from UH. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and watching soccer and volleyball, bouldering, hiking, and scuba diving.

Shannon is a 5th year PhD student researching biogeochemical cycling in the Southern Ocean seasonal sea ice zone. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and started graduate school right after undergrad. She loves to run (especially on trails) and be in the ocean.

Victoria is a 4th year PhD candidate studying deep-sea ecology, specifically in the context of pelagic impacts of deep-sea mining. She attended California State University, Monterey Bay for undergrad where she earned her B.S. in Marine Science and a B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences – Archaeology. When she’s not working she loves to read and hammock near the beach!

Hi! I’m Dianne, a 6th year PhD student in Biological Oceanography. I’m originally from the Philippines, and I moved to Hawai’i in 2020 after starting my PhD at the University of South Carolina. I’ve been a research assistant in various marine science fields since 2009, having worked on remote sensing, modeling, and field oceanography projects on upwelling regions, coral reefs and other coastal habitats. When I’m not working on my research, I’m actively involved in labor and social justice organizing efforts on campus and the larger Filipino community here in Honolulu.

I am a 3rd year PhD student with a masters en Route who studies the biological carbon pump through the use of optical imaging and machine learning. I use these tools to study how phytoplankton and zooplankton contribute to the export of carbon in the form of marine snow, and the distributions of plankton diversity in the north pacific. Before graduate school I did my undergraduate degree at University of California San Diego in biochemistry, and participated in research on sea spray aerosols and their biogenic components. During my free time I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons, dabbling in some graphic design, and birding.